Mom, it really wasn’t a phase.

Personal Shuffle
4 min readFeb 23, 2021


By: Alyssa Rotunno

Courtesy of Maggie Lindemann on Twitter

First, there was Carrie Bradshaw. Then, there was Gossip Girl — and now, there’s Personal Shuffle. Okay… probably not.

Hey, I’m Alyssa. I’m a full-time PR professional as well as a full-time music fanatic. Sometimes these two time-consuming gigs overlap, like the Teams chat my coworkers and I made to talk specifically about New Music Friday, but for the most part, not so much. I was really yearning to merge my love for writing and love for discovering new music and had the completely original, never-done-before, ground-breaking idea to start a blog — and, here we are. It’s great to meet you!

Now that introductions are out of the way, I’d be remiss if I didn’t start this new blogging journey with a nod to the music genre that started it all for me. Side bangs, studded belts and “xD random” — oh, yes, it’s emo.

This one goes out to all the Warped Tour kids who still love to rock out to sad tunes, but are sick and tired of listening to “Dance, Dance by Fall Out Boy in the cubicle of their nine-to-five. Or, in these times, whatever you’ve managed to convert into a desk at home. Regardless, here are the top five “new” songs (and I use this term lightly, as in released-in-the-last-few-months new) that remind me of Manic Panic hair dye, but are a bit more e-boy than emo.

1. “Flames” — MOD SUN ft. Avril Lavigne

I wanted to ease the former emo kids into the new wave with a familiar face — the princess of pop-punk, Avril Lavigne. The track brings the moshpit energy with angsty post-breakup lyrics, simple but crisp guitar and aggressive drums.

Though an unlikely pairing, the duo complement each other nicely with Lavigne’s clear and elegant vocals and Mod Sun’s raspy screams. If you don’t believe me that this song belongs in your daily rock rotation, just take a look at the music video which is filled with heavy eyeliner, literal flames, dark filters and an abandoned warehouse. Come on.

2. “Goth Chick” — KEEPMYSECRETS

The name says it all. Though not as overtly punk rock, the tune clearly pulls from the emo and pop-punk genre with its simple, repetitive guitar riffs. Don’t let the trap drums and gold grills fool you, this is emo through and through. KMS even gives a nod to the goth era with the lyrics: “Tumblr aesthetic this shit could get heavy / traditional tattoos of Jason and Freddy / 50 shades of black she’s making a statement.

If you still aren’t sure what genre you’d classify the track under, I want you to imagine yourself in a Hot Topic. Can you picture the song playing as you buy a pair of black skinny jeans? Yup? Okay, then it’s emo. Glad we sorted that out.

3. “body bag” — Machine Gun Kelly ft. YUNGBLUD & Bert McCracken of The Used

Machine Gun Kelly and YUNGBLUD have been absolutely dominating the rock charts this past year, and The Used are a go-to classic — so the track was an easy pick for this roundup. The bonus track off of MGK’s mega-successful album “Tickets To My Downfallis brought to life by Bert McCracken’s flare for danceable rock music, which really makes you want to dust off your black hightop Converse.

Both Machine Gun Kelly and YUNGBLUD bring equally intoxicating and gravelly vocals to the track that compliment each other in a way that just fits. I’m of the personal belief that the two should team up with Travis Barker and become the next big punk band. That may just be me but… I don’t think so.

4. “Candy Coated Lie$” — Hot Milk

This one is a bit older, but I had to include it because I’ve had it on repeat for weeks. This small band from Manchester, UK is a mix of Tonight Alive and PVRIS, with just a hint of All Time Low, with their alternating vocals from co-vocalists Jim Shaw and Han Mee. The track itself is the perfect mix of not-quite-bubblegum-pop and punk anger that drives the sound to be irresistibly addicting. Not that I’m speaking from experience, but it’s also the perfect pump-up song for the millennial professional who has to rewrite copy for their client for the millionth time.

5. “Crash and Burn” — Maggie Lindemann

Hello, Paramore? You’ve got competition. Though not always an alternative artist — you may actually know Maggie Lindemann by her Cheat Codes x CADE remix, “Pretty Girl” — her latest EP “PARANOIA” is filled with early-2000’s reminiscent tracks. My personal favorite, “Crash and Burn” features drum riffs straight out of a Blink-182 album, melodic guitar inspired by Paramore and an incredible vocal performance that is uniformly powerful yet dainty. If you ever need a song to sing at the top of your lungs while driving down a highway, this is the one.

Let me know your thoughts and if you checked out the tunes!



Personal Shuffle

Hey, I’m Alyssa! As a long-time music lover and ex-journalism major, I‘ve been longing for a way to combine these two traits. Well, here we are.