The Best Thing in Neo-Emo (Promise They Will Be Huge)

If you’ve ever thought what American Football would sound like if they were raised on Facebook and were somehow nostalgic for their own music and 90s TV, I think I have a good solution for your conundrum. 

Enter Marquette, Michigan’s own Charmer, owners of already two full-length efforts and a handful of excellent early EPs, you can expect these gentlemen to take the next decade by storm in the neo-emo/sadboy/pop-punk scene. 

With the resurgence in the past couple years of pop-punk acts including some young indie artists the likes of KennyHoopla, as well as some of the biggest acts around today like MGK and Olivia Rodrigo, one would expect the trend to continue to only blow up sending the much more indie acts like Charmer skyrocketing to bigger tours and better exposure to a wider audience. 

(As an aside, you’ll notice Travis Barker working as a producer while simultaneously dating a Kardashian is no coincidence in the increasing popularity of acts like Mr. Hoopla and the new version of MGK. And yes I know Rodrigo is the mainstream’s mainstream artist of the hour, but a lot of her sound is based in a foundation of the pop-punk songwriting school, and if “the kids” like her sound, clearly there’s an appetite for the more “traditional” type of emo and pop-punk music like Charmer. So don’t @ me).

Charmer blend an effective punk rhythm section and dueling math rock style guitar arpeggios to create a more complex sound than the more commonplace emo compositions. On top of that is the strained, but sometimes subdued singing from lead vocalist David Daignault. His standout vocal performances include tracks “Bummer Summer” a song almost oozy with nearly cringe-inducing, teen-angst lyrics about summer passing and missing out on a relationship, and “Roy’s Our Boy” both off their freshman self-titled LP from 2018.

2020’s follow-up album Ivy brought some more of the pop sensibility to the pop-punk stylings, but make no mistake that this band leans much more to the modern day emo aesthetic and songwriting stylings. A DIY band from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Charmer have the perfect blend of quality song composition, and an inherent passion and relatability that make them the current flag-bearers of the “midwest emo” band moniker. 

While the two albums released thus far are excellent, a word of advice is to not overlook earlier EPs released, Best Worst Birthday Ever from 2017, and from the same year Whateverville. Track titles like “Frankie Muniz” and “I Wish I Was a Golden Retriever in an Upperclass Family” make certain you know that you’re listening to that midwest emo band. 

With the boys appearing to be back to recording these days, we expect to see more to come in the near future. You just have a feeling that a band like Charmer is poised to have breakout success soon. With two albums and a solid cult following already, we can only expect a wider release effort for their next LP and more exposure and touring to grow a hungry audience even more.

Best Song:

“Sportsmanship of the Year” From Whateverville EP

Honorable Mentions:

“Topanga Lawrence” From Charmer

Roy’s Our Boy” From Charmer

Floral” From Charmer

State Birds” From Whateverville

Best Lyric:

“Seasonal depression leaves you facedown in the snow, and you’re just a failure if you move back home” – From “Roy’s Our Boy”

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