Playlist: Let’s Get These Teen Hearts Beating Faster

I vividly remember going with my mom to buy Fall Out Boy’s Take This To Your Grave at Target in 8th grade. That day kicked off three years of me channeling most of my feelings into pop punk songs with overly long and weirdly punctuated titles. A lot of the bands from that 2003-2007 period of pop punk and emo were pretty terrible — whoever made Hawthorne Heights a thing, I’m still upset with you. But some of those songs really hold up and instantly revive the feelings and ideas that seemed so monumental to teenage-suburban-white-kid me.


If you decided which t-shirts to buy at Hot Topic based in part on which would look the least like they came from Hot Topic; if Hayley Williams was your first Totally Straight Girl Crush™; if you think William Beckett would make a truly gorgeous lesbian, this playlist is for you. Have fun at the intersection of Memory Lane and Ocean Avenue.


Let’s Get These Teen Hearts Beating Faster


Taxi Driver – Gym Class Heroes
Saturday – Fall Out Boy
L.G. FUAD – Motion City Soundtrack
I’m Not Okay (I Promise) – My Chemical Romance
Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off – Panic! At The Disco
The Best Happiness Money Can Buy – I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business
I Miss You – Blink 182
Whoa – Paramore
Weeping Willow – The Hush Sound
Jamais Vu – Forgive Durden
If I Ever Leave This World Alive – Flogging Molly
Space – Something Corporate
Technicolor Girls – Death Cab For Cutie
Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard
MakeDamnSure – Taking Back Sunday
On Your Porch – The Format
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead – Stars
The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot – Brand New
Girl’s Not Grey – AFI
Hold Fast Hope – Thrice
Slow Down – The Academy Is…
The Best of Me (Acoustic) – The Starting Line
Hello, I’m in Delaware – City and Colour
Audrey, Start the Revolution! – Anberlin

Let’s Get These Teen Hearts Beating Faster from Autostraddle on 8tracks Radio.

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Adrian is a writer, a Texan and a Presbyterian pastor. They write about bisexuality, gender, religion, politics, music and a whole lot of feelings at Autostraddle and wherever fine words are sold. They have a dog named after Alison Bechdel. Follow Adrian on Twitter @adrianwhitetx.

Adrian has written 153 articles for us.



    Hayley Williams was the first girl I told a BOYFRIEND I was into. I think I thought I was just being “open minded”.

    I’m married to a lady.

  2. LGFUAD! Holy guacamole, it has been so long since I heard this song! This playlist is a great way to start the week.

  3. OMG these are my jams. Excluding AFI/Hawthorne Heights, everything mentioned in this article significantly contributed to my coming of age haha. And although I should probably be slightly ashamed that I am going to be an old lady standing in the pit at the upcoming Monumentour (FOB and Paramore), I’m really not at all. SO READY FOR A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE COMPLETE WITH ALL NEW EMO/POP PUNK FEELS!!!

  4. Every time I listen to my angsty teen music I want to laugh and cry all at the same time! I have a collection of mostly burned CDs in my car that my best friend from high school gave me. On long road trips to my hometown, I pop them in and scream sing on the top of my lungs.

    The first concert I ever went to, I saw All Time Low/Every Avenue/The Maine, and was up at the very front because my best friend wanted to be as close as possible. We were drenched in sweat and elbowed so many people and I fought for Alex’s guitar pick for my friend. This all happened on the night before I took my ACT, so my ears were ringing throughout the whole fucking test. I was such a rebel. ;)

  5. This playlist is perfect! These songs suited my particular brand of suburban angst, and I still can’t shake my addiction to Panic! at the Disco or The Academy Is…

  6. Excellent choice on the Thrice, though I’m partial to Identity Crisis myself(a bit ironic when you think about it), and still listen to them on the regular, with their last album is very good. Same can be said for A.F.I., who still releases good albums, despite their slight shit in genre.

    Maybe they’re not in the same category(at least with every one Thrice, AFI, or TBS), GlassJaw – Pink Roses would fit well here.

  7. Ahhhhh Yellowcard. Great way to bring your party together, if it’s lacking a little spirit… play a little Yellowcard and get everyone living out their nostalgic angst together :)

  8. I’m still a fan of Taking Back Sunday,My Chemical Romance,Paramore, and AFI. I’m not even a little ashamed of that fact. I still listen to Girls not grey when I workout.

    Honorable Mentions:
    Vindicated & Hands Down- Dashboard Confessional
    Face Down-Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
    All That I’ve Got- The Used
    Look What You’be Done- Jet
    Fallen (the entire album)- Evanescence
    Until the Day I Die- Story of the Year
    Echo- Trap
    Running Away- Hoobastank

    Yes I still listen to all of these regularly.

  9. Fall Out Boy, Blink 182, Good Charlotte, Sum41, Panic! At the Disco.. I still actually listen to these guys. “Miss Murder” by AFI. \m/ Keep it rockin’ people \m/

  10. Holy shit, LG FUAD! I just.. I can just remember so clearly the gang singing every damn word of that song in whoever’s basement.. without the music. omg, all the memories of teen angst jammin.

  11. is the hush sound pop punk?! to be honest i’ve never really known how to classify them but i feel iffy about that. this list gives me so many flashbacks to a time when most of what i knew about a band was derived from what their cd’s art looked like.

    • Yeah Gym Class Heroes and The Hush Sound are both iffy for me, but I loved both of them. I think they were both on the Fueled by Ramen label with all those emo/pop punk bands (CIWWAF, The Academy Is…, Paramore, FOB) so I feel they can go in this category/get some of my teenage nostalgia.

  12. Is it bad that I still listen to some of this? I really like AFI … These songs were everything to me! I remember being twelve and singing my heart out to Good Charlotte, Paramore, Green Day, Fall Out Boy – and yes, Hawthorne Heights!

  13. OMG, this playlist is amazing! Out of all the songs on here, there are literally only three that I didn’t have on my iPod (and several that I still do). Also, as a young trans woman, emo/pop punk helped my queer development so much. Years before I came out I was able to wear girl pants, sweaters and shirts, eyeliner and jewelry and just tell people I was dressing “emo.”

  14. This playlist rocks! I still listen to a lot of P!ATD, Paramore,FOB, MCR, old and new songs! Thanks for this playlist! :-D

  15. Not even ashamed to say I loved (and still love) every song on this playlist.

    When my very first girlfriend and I were dating in early high school, I was obsessed with this music. For my 15th birthday, she bought me an autographed photo of FOB and I literally cried. A sign of true love? They love your music because they know how much it means to you ;)

  16. AHHH OMG. This is my teenage life. And it’s perfect timing too. I’ve been listening to FOB’s Save Rock and Roll and reminiscing hard core. And I especially love that you chose “Space,” “The Best of Me (Acoustic),” and “Slow Down…”

  17. When my very first girlfriend and I were dating in early high school, I was obsessed with this music. For my 15th birthday, she bought me an autographed photo of FOB and I literally cried. hashtag true love

  18. OMG I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE Hayley Williams was totally my first girl crush.
    But I still listen to Paramore, Green Day, MCR, FOB, Blink-182, and P!atD. I was actually just relistening to some of them when I started reading this article…are you in my head, autostraddle??

  19. This is truly awesome, although I was hoping to see some Spitalfield.

    Also, Brand New has been my favorite band for about 10 years, and will probably always be.

  20. Not gonna lie, this article nearly made me cry. And then I went on Spotify and made a playlist containing every single song in this playlist and in the comments. And now I’m listening to it and wearing my old Death Note hoodie. I feel like 15 again. And like the world is a black abyss, in the most epic way :-P

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