Cardi B has often proven what a versatile consumer of art and music she is, and we’re sure that many viewers felt a special (emo)tion when they tuned in to her Instagram stories recently and noticed she was listening to My Chemical Romance. Now that we know that Bardi is low key una emo, we did what any peak emo kid would do for someone they stan: we got nostalgic for the music we grew up with and made her a Latinemo mixtape with artists past and present.
Latinxs in emo both in the U.S. and Latin America have been a thing since the early ‘90s at least, so there’s plenty of music to choose from. Recently there has been a surge of bands playing various takes on the genre as part of the so-called emo revival, many of which are worth your time. We decided to lean towards the poppier aspect of the emo, from Midwestern indie to pop punk-leaning and beyond, but it’s worth noting that there’s also a healthy screamo scene today as well with bands like Zeta, Joliette and Quiet Fear. Also, shout out to pop projects that leaned into the emo aesthetics of the time like Kudai and “Luz Sin Gravedad”-era Belinda, because that was a thing.
Maybe this Latinemo mixtape can get you by while waiting for news around the fate of the MCR reunion shows that are supposed to take place this year.
At The Drive-In - "One Armed Scissor"
Probably the most influential Latinemo band of all time. ATDI took the explosive passion of early Dischord and Gravity Records bands and set them ablaze with noise and prog-influences, making them the biggest band in the world for a minute, changing everything forever.
Tolidos - "Decisiones Adolescentes"
Mexico’s Tolidos might not have been the biggest emo band from the 00s but they were one of the most beloved by fans. They perfected their take on the pop-leaning take of Drive-Thru Records bands like New Found Glory and The Early November. Also shout-out to RBD star Dulce María who makes an appearance on the video for one of their biggest songs.
Sad Breakfast - "Memories For The Last Two Times, We Believed We Grew Up"
Mexico City’s Sad Breakfast might be one of the most accomplished acts of the early ‘00s, playing a style that owed to everything from Mineral to Cave In to sludge metal, allowing them to present us songs brimming with emotions. Nowadays, frontman Jos is keeping the flame of emo alive with his other band Kill Aniston.
Baltimore In Love - "Remember Me"
Argentina is one country where emo took hold very early on and bands like Baltimore In Love prove why. The band combines melodies and heartfelt emotions with dissonance and the occasional scream, channeling desperation in a way reminiscent of the early heroes of emocore.
El Cómodo Silencio de los Que Hablan Poco - "Jardines"
As part of the so-called emo revival, Chile has been fertile ground for new bands to try out old sounds. Beyond merely paying tribute to the music from years past, El Cómodo Silencio De Los Que Hablan Poco mix up post-hardcore indie with dream pop, post rock, and math rock, giving us an exciting blend.
Invierno - "Náufrago"
Another recent band from Chile that tries to rescue the emo sound from oblivion to give nostalgic youth (and elders) something new to pine for. Invierno’s big hooks and even bigger vocals recall everything from Midwestern cult figures to Hot Topic-approved chart-toppers, linking various takes on emo for something unique.
Procrastinación 1 Yo 0 - "Pop Para La Frustración Final"
Like being caught up between the effects of a sugar rush and a panic attack, this wonderfully named band from Perú plays hyperactive emo that starts and stops at the drop of a hat, and goes from screams to melodic shouts in a manner of seconds.
Restos Fósiles - "Pertenecer"
Probably the oldest band on this list, Argentina’s Restos Fósiles started playing skate punk in the late ‘80s. By the time they made their first EP, they added earnest unpolished vocals, heart-on-sleeve lyrics and jagged edges to their sound. The pop punk core remained, making the music accessible and irresistible.
Dance of Days - "Ícaro Sobre As Chamas"
This Brazilian band has been around since the early 00s and made some of the country’s definitive emo recordings. Their music incorporates heaviness with sensitivity and catchiness, predating for a few years mainstreamo acts like Senses Fail and Finch for a bit. Their early recordings capture the time perfectly.
Austin TV - "Rucci"
The debate of whether Mexico’s Austin TV can be considered an emo band is one slightly less old and contentious than what emo really means. The instrumental band made a name for themselves playing kinetic music fueled by melodramatic changes in sound, inspiring a generation of fans who still hold tight for a reunion someday.
PXNDX - "Los Malaventurados No Lloran"
Mexico’s PXNDX can be considered the anti-heroes of the genre. On the one hand, they were one of the biggest exponents of the genre during their time; on the other hand, they gave plenty of ammo to the haters thanks to their pretentiousness and (allegedly) stealing songs from other bands. Love them or hate them, they are undeniable.