The 40 Best Emo Love Songs

From trailblazers like The Get Up Kids and Sunny Day Real Estate to torch-carriers like Say Anything and Paramore
best emo love songs

While emo music might be most associated with sadness and heartbreak, those lovelorn artists couldn’t have written such songs without experiencing some serious romantic highs.

Since it’s Valentine’s Day, we wanted to focus on the good parts of love more than the bad — although there’s still some unhappiness and resentment mixed in. (I mean, it is still emo after all.) SPIN’s writers spanned decades, waves and numerous albums looking for the top emo love songs, and now we’ve gathered them all here to save you the work.

And yes, we know “emo” is just as broad a term as “love song” — you may also describe some of these acts as pop-punk or post-hardcore or even heart-on-sleeve indie-rock. But all of these bangers branch off the same family tree. From trailblazers like The Get Up Kids and Sunny Day Real Estate to torch-carriers like Say Anything and Paramore, we look back on some of the best emo love songs to celebrate your relationship — or lack thereof — this time of year.

40. Modern Baseball – “Apartment”

MoBo had plenty of love songs — most dealt with unrequited love, pining after someone and the pains of being rejected or longing from a distance. But “Apartment” feels like the most relatable one: walking narrow sidewalks with your friends to an apartment where you meet someone new over party games, and at the end of the night you don’t even want to fall asleep because you’d rather be awake thinking of that person. And unlike the agonizing drama or even anger of numerous love songs in this genre, “Apartment” is almost quaint in its affection, leaving the listener smiling at the meet-cute. It’s a sweet story couples tell their kids about how they met — still arguing over whether the other person cheated at the game — and it ends with Jake Ewald’s protagonist finally mustering up the courage to ask, over an unresolved note, if they want to hang out tonight and make dinner or something. – Brendan Menapace

 

39. Alkaline Trio – “Enjoy Your Day”

Alright, so this one is admittedly more of a heartbreak song than a romantic one, but it’s also pretty much the quintessential emo Valentine’s Day song that isn’t The Get Up Kids’ “Valentine.” While Matt Skiba sings most of Alkaline Trio’s biggest hits, Dan Andriano takes the lead on this acoustic Goddamnit track, which stands out as one of their most lovestruck. In roughly 12 lines (although the last four are repeated), “Enjoy Your Day” captures the tragedy and glimmer of positivity that exists in every heartbreak. A lot of Alkaline Trio’s songs sound “authentic,” but this one drags the listener right into Andriano’s misery with him — but in a good way. – Josh Chesler

 

38. The Menzingers – “After the Party”

The Menzingers’ brand of boozy punk makes for a special kind of romance, and “After The Party” is their lightning-in-a-bottle encapsulation of it. Frontman Greg Barnett challenged himself to write a song comprised more of images than simple words, and the result feels just as euphoric as being in love. Mornings drinking coffee and listening to music, or examining the knick-knacks in your lover’s bedroom, are just as vital as the drunken rooftop nights. It’s all tied together with this perfect, straightforward chorus couplet: “Everybody wants to get famous / But you just wanna dance in a basement.” – Mia Hughes

 

37. Panic! At the Disco – “Northern Downpour”

This cult classic is rooted in some elusive emo mythology. Fans passionately ‘shipped vocalist Brendon Urie with Panic!’s then-guitarist Ryan Ross, and their beautiful harmonies here had them further convinced. The lyrics read like poetry in a love letter and ended up taking form in many tattoos: “​​I know the world’s a broken bone / But melt your headaches, call it home.” Despite being more of a deep-cut, it’s the second biggest track off the folky Pretty. Odd., and with good reason. It grows more hypnotic as the two voices meld together, repeating a simple, bittersweet incantation: “Sugarcane in the easy mornin’ / Weathervanes my one and lonely.” – Danielle Chelosky

 

 

36. Braid – “Collect From Clark Kent”

Even Superman needs a little love sometimes. Midwest ‘90s heroes Braid put on the cape for “Collect From Clark Kent,” a song just as fun as it is touching. Their trademark frenetic, mathy energy is the backdrop for vocalist Bob Nanna’s plea to his own Lois Lane. “I’m on the corner of cough and cold, and I’m a lovestruck lost soul,” he confesses, utilizing wordplay that made him one of the era’s most distinctive lyricists. The song barrels towards its payoff, the breakdown where Nanna promises: “Once in your arms, we’ll rise above the ground […] I’m never coming down.” – M.H.

 

 

35. Relient K – “Be My Escape”

The “you” lines in “Be My Escape” are just vague enough that kids in conservative households could realistically tell their parents that it’s about God (which it might actually be), while others could pair an in-the-flesh counterpart to vocalist Matt Thiessen’s titular plea. “Be My Escape” relies on that classic Springsteenian theme of leaving this town and this unfilling life, grabbing hold of your partner (or, maybe, your faith), and finally hitting the metaphorical gas pedal. Musically, it relies on the jangly riffs, tempo changes, and layered guitars written into the emo playbook by the genre’s Founding Fathers, with just enough piano to fit in among the band’s contemporaries on the Christian circuit. – B.M.

 

 

34. Don Martin Three – “Transistor”

Love in emo music is most often felt in the delivery — “I love you” is a more memorable lyric when you’re screaming it at the top of your lungs as the band sounds like they jumped off a mountain. Don Martin Three’s “Transistor” feels like a nosedive off that mountain. The short-lived ‘90s trio warm up with typical, jittery emo drum hits and melodic guitar until singer Colin McCann jumps headfirst into the void and drags the band with him in his admission that yes, it’s true, he’s in love. The cryptic lyrics of “Transistor,” like love itself, aren’t clearly defined. But you absolutely feel it. – Brady Gerber

 

 

33. The Ataris – “Takeoffs and Landings”

The Ataris’ 2003 album, So Long, Astoria, zeroed in on teenage nostalgia long before the record itself became a critical part of teenage emo nostalgia. Snuggled up amongst songs of longing for their own rapidly vanishing youth is “Takeoffs and Landings,” a pop-punk classic jam-packed with more air travel similes than teens with badly dyed hair at, well, an Ataris show. The lyrics tell the tale of kissing your long-distance love goodbye before those pesky miles get in the way again and you’re back to sad lyrics in your AIM away messages. Years later, that feeling of homesickness still hits. – Laura Marie Braun

 

 

32. Turnover – “Dizzy on The Comedown”

It might actually be illegal to discuss emo love songs without mentioning Peripheral Vision, Turnover’s second album. Though more preoccupied with heartbreak, “Dizzy On The Comedown,” the record’s biggest track, follows the beginning of a romance: “I want to know about you / I’m spinning all around you.” Immersed in a fuzzy, rose-tinted atmosphere, it describes the delirium of lust — and how the feeling of falling in love is not too different from the feeling of intoxication. The song itself is just as addicting. – D.C.

 

 

31. Bright Eyes – “Pull My Hair”

Look, this entire list probably could’ve been composed of Bright Eyes (or Dashboard Confessional) songs. Conor Oberst figured out a seemingly impossible number of ways to write and sing about love, lust, heartbreak, and everything in between. On “Pull My Hair,” the 18-year-old songwriter already sounds wise beyond his age, singing about the possibility of reigniting the bedroom spark with his seemingly long-term lover. There’s no shortage of songs about sex (hell, one could argue that most songs are in one way or another), but significantly fewer are self-aware enough to compare sex to a song and not come off as cringeworthy or self-aggrandizing. – J.C.

 

 

30. Head Automatica – “Beating Heart Baby”

Fronted by Glassjaw’s Daryl Palumbo, Head Automatica perfectly toed the line of that 2000s indie-sleaze-meets-Britpop sound — and it paid off. Besides being a staple of every dance party of the era, 2004’s “Beating Heart Baby” was an instant crossover classic for scenesters and emo kids alike. The simple lyrics meant everyone could sing along, and the pressing question of “Baby, is this love for real?” opened the door for dance floor makeout sessions everywhere. Between Palumbo’s era-defining vocals and a drum track that actually does get hearts racing, the song remains no less infectious. – L.M.B.

 

 

29. The Get Up Kids – “Valentine”

I drove an ‘88 Datsun Maxima in high school — a light blue, rear-wheel-drive, four-door sedan with an inline-six. I made endless mixtapes for that car, cassettes that would last the entirety of the drive from my parents’ house to my girlfriend’s place outside the city. The songs were sequenced just right, placed in order of emotional resonance, taking me on a journey from the outer regions of my teen angst to the center of my desire for love. “Valentine” by The Get Up Kids was the core of that feeling. A perfect snapshot of the way any distance, emotional or physical, feels oceanic in scope — feeling the longing of a lover lost over a vast separation and the contortions we will put ourselves through in a desperate bid to hold on for just one more second. The constants aren’t so constant anymore. – Niko Stratis

 

 

28. Bring Me the Horizon – “Deathbeds”

By 2011, Bring Me The Horizon decided to throw metalcore out on the treelawn to follow pursuits more nuanced and textured. On 2013’s Sempiternal, BMTH nudged toward atmospheric, electronic vistas, with “Deathbeds” being the sonic/psychic summit. The majestic fatalism sounds like a chrome-plated 4AD band; the lyrics (“I watch you like a hawk / I watch you like I’m going to tear you from limb to limb”; “The waves will pull us under / Tides will bring me back to you”) feel as if Sylvia Plath couldn’t decide between poetry or stalking. Sykes’ then-muse Hannah Snowdon supplies the backing vocals: Their marriage lasted only a year, thereby establishing this track as peak emo melancholy. – Jason Pettigrew

 

 

27. Cartel – “Honestly”

Cartel’s debut single, “Honestly,” hones in on a classic emo vibe: being jealous when your past fling decides to date someone else and resolving to win them back: “You’re part of the reason I’m so set on the rest of my life / Being a part of you,” Will Pugh sings over a choppy riff, building to a scream-along lyrics. The song, which appeared in the 2006 romantic comedy John Tucker Must Die, was paired with a music video that now serves an ode to the early aughts of online dating, featuring Myspace-esque backdrops and selfies galore. Nina Braca

 

 

26. New Found Glory – “Hit or Miss”

We’ve all been there. You’re seeing someone, but you’re not entirely sure how it’s going to play out in the long run. Maybe you’re not ready to commit, or maybe you’re thinking about moving on from someone. But within all of that uncertainty, you’re left with the concern that you might’ve just blown a really good thing. Have you waited too long to see (or text) them? It’s the age-old question — and the chorus of the first song that many of us ever heard from New Found Glory. – J.C.

 

 

25. Basement – “Oversized”

The DNA of British quintet Basement feels more post-grunge and nascent shoegaze than most of the stuff found on the hard drives of former Brand New fans. However, they were able to connect with some denizens of “the Scene” on their Stateside tours. This track from 2016’s Promise Everything is about how difficult it can be to reveal your true self to someone you adore. Frontman Andrew Fisher captures that essence with a lyric relatable to every heart (“I’m with you when I’m by myself / At least I feel like it’s true / With a little help / And can you tell / My heart beats faster when you speak”), with some references to the pain of long-distance love. Because acknowledging you have a problem is the first step to reconciling, well, just about anything… – J.P.

 

 

24. Cursive – “The Recluse”

“The Recluse,” from Cursive’s 2003 concept album, The Ugly Organ, is equal parts drama and self-indulgence. The song’s main character is fictional, but the lyrics feel disarmingly personal, as singer Tim Kasher zeroes on the high and lows of infatuation. Our protagonist spells out his intense feelings for a lover he is enthralled with: “And I can hardly get myself out of her bed / For fear of never lying in this bed again.” The self-awareness is startling, though — in the same breath, he admits the love affair is over before it even began. – Candace McDuffie

 

 

23. Sunny Day Real Estate – “48”

Lyrics have never been crucial to the Sunny Day Real Estate experience — hell, the band’s hastily recorded second album didn’t even have finished words! (“In a lot of cases, we never sat down to write them, because we just wanted to get it out of the way as fast as possible,” singer-guitarist Jeremy Enigk noted in 2008. “So I just sang a lot of gibberish, which makes it really quirky.”) Naturally, their lyrics tend to be impressionistic — and “48,” a devastating slow-burn from their beloved 1994 debut, Diary, is no exception, with Enigk murmuring stuff like, “The suffering moved and breathed our hands sillhouettes against the sky.” But his tortured delivery — along with the quartet’s quiet-loud/clean-distorted dynamic — renders any painful line romantic, particularly the opening admission: “I lost myself when I looked in your eyes.” How’s that for concrete? – Ryan Reed

 

 

22. Say Anything – “I Want to Know Your Plans”

Alongside satirical anthems that explode with sarcasm and bombast is “I Want To Know Your Plans,” an intimate ballad that still flexes his unorthodox lyricism: “If you could forgive me for being so brash, well, you / You could hit me or whip me; I’d savor each lash.” Max Bemis’ weirdness surprisingly works in this more serious serenade, only making his declarations of devotion sound more sincere. It’s a brief moment of refuge on a chaotic album, emblematic of the way this love has become an oasis for Bemis himself: “You’re what keeps me believing the world’s not gone dead / Strength in my bones put the words in my head.” – D.C.

 

 

21. Mineral – “Gloria”

Moreso than their second-wave peers in The Promise Ring, Sunny Day Real Estate, and American Football, Mineral managed to streamline the explosive catharsis that fueled the genre’s early hardcore-adjacent precursors. The Austin-via-Houston quartet’s raw 1997 debut, The Power of Failing, found a devastating meeting ground between bristling power chords and frontman Chris Simpson’s aching vocals. On “Gloria,” a gut-wrenching ode to unrequited love, his chorus wavers with a passion bordering on obsession: “‘Cause I just want to be / Something more than the mud in your eyes / I want to be the clay in your hands.” – Owen Morawitz

 

 

20. Taking Back Sunday – “MakeDamnSure”

Taking Back Sunday’s 2006 major label debut, Louder Now, maintained the pop-punk kings’ signature sound, but their usual snot-nosed and ready-to-fist-fight lyrics had notably matured. “There wasn’t any kind of conscious decision on my part or anybody else, like, ‘Okay, we need to stop being so melodramatic with our lyrics,’” vocalist Adam Lazzara told AV Club in 2021. While the band isn’t exactly known for romantic love songs, “MakeDamnSure” is about as close as they get. Bordering on the darker side, “We lay together, just not too close” is a grown-up and forbiddenly sexy lyric about staying chaste — whether by choice, or not — with the one you want most. – L.M.B.

 

 

19. The Get Up Kids – “I’ll Catch You”

Mostly quiet with one loud part, this slice from the dawn of Midwest emo relies on tumbling piano chords to set the mood, closing out the emotional Chernobyl of 1999’s Something to Write Home About with a declaration of unshakeable love. It’s a resolution in a few different senses of the word, but one that seems hard and maybe just barely won. It wouldn’t be much more than a slender lullaby without the exultant bridge/breakdown toward the end. That’s the loud part, where Matt Pryor bellows, “I can see everything, everything” over crashing power chords. It adds a single, triumphant fist pump to a track that would otherwise be too tender. Who says love isn’t a victory march? – Beverly Bryan

 

 

18. Fall Out Boy – “Homesick at Space Camp”

Before they were selling out stadiums and popping up in teen rom-com cameos, Chicago pop-punkers Fall Out Boy were a bunch of hardcore nerds who wanted to jam out to Saves The Day covers. And this subcultural cross-pollination proved to be a secret weapon on their monster 2003 debut, Take This To Your Grave. “Homesick at Space Camp” — a Side-A sleeper hit on a record practically overflowing with now-iconic tracks — is Fall Out Boy at their most earnest. The track’s infectious instrumental props up frontman Patrick Stump’s super-sticky chorus, acting as both a universal affirmation of friendship and the personal sting of longing: “Tonight the headphones will deliver you the words that I can’t say / Tonight I’m writing you a million miles away.” – O.M.

 

 

17. Planes Mistaken For Stars – “Say Not a Word”

This Denver-via-Peoria outfit might be an unexpected choice for this list. But one listen to 2004’s “Say Not A Word” makes their inclusion a no-brainer. As frontman Gared O’Donnell, who tragically passed away last year after a protracted battle with esophageal cancer, explained to Dan Ozzi in 2020, it’s “a song about fucking.” Following a tense build-up and one of the most evocative opening lines in the post-hardcore canon (“I stared you down so hard I burnt your shadow to the wall”), Planes Mistaken For Stars launch into their volatile attack, while O’Donnell howls out his sexual frustrations through twilight allusions and a carnal call to action: “Say not a word, sister / Split down on me.” – O.M.

 

 

16. Balance and Composure – “Tiny Raindrop”

Of course, this post-hardcore-leaning Philly group’s song about love is also a song about destruction. “The line ‘I’ll be your tiny raindrop’ is me giving a warning that while everything is great at first, I will be the first to ruin things,” then-vocalist Jon Simmons told Alternative Press upon the song’s 2013 release. Despite this tendency toward self-sabotage, “Tiny Raindrop”  bursts with longing, determined to override the doubts: “So come with me, I’ll buy you a raincoat / Stay with me, I’m sick of this shameful.” The sonic landscape reverberates with urgency, the guitars caustic and intense. Though it’s dark, hope is in the periphery. – D.C.

 

 

15. The Starting Line – “Island (Float Away)”

The Starting Line has been unabashedly down for a good, hard crush since day one, making their songs a romantic mix CD staple in the early to mid-aughts. In 2007, the band released their final LP, Direction, featuring “Island (Float Away),” which paints an image of a beautiful escape-turned-shipwreck and two lovers weathering the storm of poor timing. Frontman Kenny Vasoli begs his love to hold on just a little longer, promising a better life if they can just make it through this last hurdle. An allegory for love in the time of tour burnout? Possibly. A perfect swan song for a big-hearted band? Definitely. – L.M.B.

 

 

14. Alkaline Trio – “Clavicle”

The legend goes that Alkaline Trio singer-guitarist Matt Skiba penned this song about his then-girlfriend, back when he was still a bike messenger. (Actually, hardcore AT obsessives say she inspired all of his songs on the Goddamnit album.) While “Clavicle” is brisk in its pop-punk fun, the lyrical lust/longing (“It’s been a hellish plight to not think about you all the time / Sitting around waiting for your call”) is a universal construct that awkward folks waiting for reciprocal affection will relate to — regardless if they carry fake IDs or social security cards. – J.P.

 

 

13. Weezer – “Falling for You”

Pinkerton might just be the granddaddy of all emo albums. Weezer’s 1996 LP covers all the bases: longing, heartbreak, sexual frustration — and, of course, love. On “Falling for You,” Rivers Cuomo laments his sweet surrender to a beau who “says ‘like’ too much” and perfectly summarizes the self-conscious emo dilemma with the question, “What could you possibly see in little ol’ three-chord me?” Though Cuomo spent years disavowing the album for its overtly personal lyrics, fan support eventually made him come around. Sure, Pinkerton can get a little into LiveJournal territory, but it sure does tickle the heart strings. – L.M.B.

 

 

12. Paramore – “The Only Exception”

An out-of-character not-so-power ballad, “The Only Exception” finds Hayley Williams in a downbeat mood, gazing at romantic love through gray-tinted glasses and calling it realism. “I’m content with loneliness / Because none of it was ever worth the risk,” the singer mopes in time with a foot-dragging waltz strummed on acoustic guitar. The song ticks lots of emo boxes: precocious world-weariness, pre-emptive self-protection; then Hayley tips her hand. “But darling, you are the only exception,” she sings. This guy is worth the risk. The song closes on a fragile note: “I’m on my way to believing.” Wistful, if not yet hopeful, perfection. – B.B.

 

 

11. blink-182 – “I Miss You”

From the Nightmare Before Christmas references (“We can live like Jack and Sally if we want”) to the dark and brooding video to the way Tom DeLonge enunciates the word “head” as “yed,” this emo/pop-punk megahit from blink-182’s self-titled LP is pretty much the peak of 2000s Hot Topic love songs. While Tom, Mark, and Travis would never abandon their punk roots to get quite as heartfelt as, say, Chris Carrabba, “I Miss You” is, was, and always will be a strong ballad by any metric. – J.C.

 

 

10. The Used – “I Caught Fire”

From the cataclysmic opening guitar chords to the lyrical pining of frontman Bert McCracken, “I Caught Fire” is one of The Used’s most sentient songs. The third single from their second album, 2004’s In Love and Death, is uncharacteristically romantic in imagery and impressively mellifluous in execution. Though a tad mushy, the song’s chorus (“And I’m melting / In your eyes / Like my first time / That I caught fire / Just stay with me, lay with me now”) is also disarmingly sweet. “I Caught Fire” is the band’s first true love song — the Utah natives finally revealed a crack in their armor, with mesmerizing results. – C.M.

 

 

9. Dashboard Confessional – “Stolen”

Dashboard Confessional’s 2006 breakout ballad, “Stolen,” will whisk you down the rabbit hole of nostalgia back into a wistful moment of youth, when “cloudy-eyed” celebrations often took place on bathroom floors. Frontman Chris Carrabba’s glacial high notes and sickeningly sweet whispers are a highlight of the group’s fourth LP, Dusk And Summer, conjuring the vulnerability of unrequited love. “Stolen” expanded the blueprint of classic emo to reveal a softer, more melodic perspective, solidifying Dashboard Confessional as a mainstay of the genre. And where romance is concerned, what chorus hits harder than “You have stolen my heart”? – Paige Owens

 

 

8. Say Anything – “Alive With the Glory of Love”

Both earnest and uncouth, Say Anything’s most famous song is also one of their most deceptively weird — envisioning how even the bleakest situations can’t wither true romance. “My grandparents were Holocaust survivors, which struck a chord with me,” Max Bemis told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of this 2006 epic. “I thought about what it would be like to be in love and be separated from the person you love, because these times are just as dire in a way.” Knowing that context is crucial: A line like “When I watch you, want to do you, right where you’re standing” almost sounds kinda profound. But even without the backstory, it’s hard not to swoon over that group-shouted chorus of “I won’t let them take you.” – R.R.

 

 

7. Joyce Manor – “Falling in Love Again”

“Falling in Love Again” might be the best emo song about liking someone’s friends. One-time constant headache Barry Johnson now feels OK in the company of the people who matter to someone he likes. They share birthday drugs. And now he has money; maybe this could work. This Smiths-like attention to detail makes Joyce Manor, legitimate stars of emo’s Tumblr era, stand out in all their songs, and “Falling in Love Again” captures that fleeting yet vital moment when someone with a history of love and heartbreak realizes that they might be in the right place at the right time for something new. – B.G.

 

 

6. Bright Eyes – “First Day Of My Life”

Between modestly plucked acoustics and Conor Oberst’s poetic lyrics, Bright Eyes’ “ First Day Of My Life” offers a sense of transformation and new beginnings — both for the listener and the narrator, whose new love interest proclaims, “I’m glad I didn’t die before I met you.” Despite the sweetness, Bright Eyes still evoke the melancholy of their earliest work. But Oberst’s lyrical weight shifts here, demonstrating the naive hopefulness that new love offers. “First Day Of My Life” puts you back in that feeling, helping you believe that hope springs eternal. – P.O.

 

 

5. Paramore – “Still Into You”

It’s a shame, but there aren’t too many songs that make long-term relationships sound awesome. One exception: Paramore’s “Still Into You,” which shows just how convincing and electric an ode to a steady date can be. On this ferociously romantic and hooky pop-punk heater, latter-day emo’s leading lady Hayley Williams testifies with mild consternation (this is emo; you can’t just be happy) that, with the right person, the infatuation stage never really has to end — even through tough times. The relationship that inspired the song may not have lasted, but this jam is forever. – B.B.

 

 

4. Dashboard Confessional – “Hands Down”

Dashboard Confessional’s teen romance anthem is one of their most popular singles, defining a generation of older millennials screaming the lyrics in their car with the windows rolled down. (One such fan: Taylor Swift, who enthusiastically belted the song live with Hayley Williams and Chris Carraba himself.) With Carraba pining over heart-pumping palm mutes, the fast-paced track remains a perfect first date soundtrack, capturing the butterflies of a blooming romance. There’s no lyric quite as emo as “My hopes are so high that your kiss might kill me / So won’t you kill me so I die happy.” – N.B.

 

 

3. Death Cab for Cutie – “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”

It’s so simple: One day, you will die, and I’ll be right there with you. Without the usual trappings of emo – loud and whiny guitars, dudes being afraid of their feelings – Ben Gibbard uses one acoustic guitar to say exactly what he means. He doesn’t need to wait to be left by someone to share what he would do for this person. Love as an act, not a feeling – ironically, this could be the most Catholic definition of love for the band (and perhaps song) that introduced the O.C. Generation to emo. – B.G.

 

 

2. Jets to Brazil – “Sweet Avenue”

“Sweet Avenue” enters at the end of a perfect date, that first moment alone to process the feeling that your whole world just changed. “This day could someday be an anniversary,” singer Blake Schwarzenbach proclaims, full of wonder and hope. The former Jawbreaker frontman made his name writing brutally poetic lyrics amid the harsh, noisy punk rock of that band, but Jets to Brazil was a different beast, and “Sweet Avenue” sets his altogether sweeter lyricism to acoustic guitar and meandering bass lines. It’s the stuff of wedding dances as he sings, “Thank you for making me see there’s a life in me / It was dying to get out.” – M.H.

 

 

1. Jimmy Eat World – “For Me This Is Heaven”

“The first star I see may not be a star / We can’t do a thing but wait, so let’s wait for one more” — for Jimmy Eat World diehards, those lines are enough to stir up butterflies. “For Me This Is Heaven” comes from the band’s 1999 classic Clarity, and much like the rest of that album, it’s a rich, musically gorgeous experience. As for the lyrics — well, this is an emo band, so it’s not a straightforward love song. It’s a love song that’s about endings, and believing that love is worth it, despite their inevitability. It’s sad, romantic, and truly beautiful. – M.H.

 

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