The pop-punk revival is here, and it's all Travis Barker's fault.
There was a time we thought that pop-punk was a relic of the 2000s never to be heard again - at least, not in anything that wasn't a "guilty pleasure" capacity. But it seems that, somehow, it's back in vogue and if there's one person we need to thank for it it's Travis Barker.
Travis Barker at Outside Lands Festival 2019 / Photo credit: Imagespace/Zuma Press/PA Images
The Blink-182 drummer has teamed up with numerous hip hop and mainstream pop acts over the last decade, but rather than his sound taking a more commercial turn, in the last couple of years it's been his collaborators that have adopted the music style that Blink-182 helped shape.
The biggest transformation was, of course, Machine Gun Kelly, who went from Eminem rap rival to pop-punk prince with just one album last year. Tickets to My Downfall was co-written and produced by Barker and featured the tracks Forget Me Too featuring Halsey, and Body Bag featuring Yungblud - two artists that Barker previously worked with on 2019's 11 Minutes. He would also later appear alongside MGK on Acting Like That from Yungblud's Weird!.
Barker had first worked with MGK on the track I Think I'm Okay (also featuring Yungblud) from the latter's 2019 album Hotel Diablo. But that wasn't the only unusual collaboration for Barker that year. He also teamed alongside former X Factor singer James Arthur on You; the title track from his third album.
Meanwhile, he's worked with electro-house DJ Steve Aoki since as early as 2011, with the song Misfits from Barker's solo album Give the Drummer Some, then Cudi the Kid featuring Kid Cudi in 2012, and Halfway Dead with Global Dan in 2020. Last year also saw him perform on Aussie indie artist Amy Shark's song C'mon; indeed, she confessed she was "feeling kind of emo" when she wrote the track.
Perhaps the most unexpected track for Travis Barker from last year was Demi Lovato's I Love Me. "#ILoveMe but make it... emo?" Demi said in her announcement of the unanticipated remix. More surprisingly, she also went on to appear on All Time Low's 2021 single Monsters with Blackbear.
Since then, Barker has teamed up with the likes of Tyler Posey, Trippie Redd (including co-writing and producing Neon Shark vs Pegasus; the 2021 deluxe edition of the previously released Pegasus), Willow Smith on her latest single Transparent Soul, and Bebe Rexha on her track Break My Heart Myself.
Travis Barker may have had a huge influence on the 2020 pop-punk revival movement, but he's far from the only one. 2020 saw the release of the pop-punk song City of Angels by 24kGoldn, the formation of Girlfriends by Travis Mills and Nick Gross, and the launch of the music careers of TikTokers Jxdn and LilHuddy.
More pop-punk-influenced songs from this year include Mod Sun and Avril Lavigne's Flames, Olivia Rodrigo's Good 4 U, Maggie Lindemann's Crash and Burn and Iann Dior's Holding On - the latter two also being artists that Travis Barker has worked with in recent months. Meanwhile, Pale Waves dropped their second studio album Who Am I? in February, and no-one is channelling 2000s nostalgia quite like them.
It seems we can expect more of this pop-punk fever as the year goes on, and who knows where Travis Barker will pop up next? Frankly, we are all here for it and already digging out those old CDs.