top of page

Apocalypse Pop!

How Gen-Z Climate Concerns Have Informed A New Perspective In Music!

According to a report by IBM, 56% of Gen Zers believe that businesses should take responsibility for environmental issues, and 72% believe that companies should be held accountable for their environmental impact. If the companies won't do it willingly Gen Z is prepared to make them with their votes and spending power. The Anthem of this mindset can be heard in what is called Apocalypse Pop!

Billie Eilish’s song “Overheated”, and Tyla's song "Water" have subconscious meaning that reflects the angst the generation Z has for the dwindling life sustaining resources of the planet.In June 2022, Eilish hosted a series of climate talks in London by the same name, alongside her UK tour dates. In July and August, the UK faced a series of heat waves, breaking records for the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the country. The “Water” dance challenge is the latest trend making a splash on TikTok. Currently one of the most popular songs internationally that inspired a viral dance challenge was created by South African singer and dancer Tyla’s choreographer, Litchi! It has dancers shake their hips and kick their legs before pouring a bottle of water down their backs to the lyrics, “Make me sweat, make me hotter, make me lose my breath, make me water.”

“Fire on the Mountain” by Asa, portends doom with lyrics like “One day, the river will overflow / And there’ll be nowhere for us to go /And we will run, run / Wishing we had put out the fire, oh.”

That doomer tone you’re sensing in the internet ether — where young people are posting memes about this was not only the hottest summer of our lives but also the coldest summer of the rest of our lives — follows a shift in Gen Z’s perception of a climate-changed future. This sentiment slips into the memes they make, the way they relate to their peers and families, and even the music they listen to. TikToks set to Pinegrove’s “Orange,” a song about California’s devastating 2020 wildfire summer, show young fans crying on camera above comments like “doomed species in its death throes” and “I’m giving up.” Like listening to devastating breakup songs after you’ve been dumped, young people are bingeing music about the end of the world to wallow in their climate despair.

A 2021 survey in The Lancet showed that 56 percent of people ages 16 to 25 believe “humanity is doomed,” and 75 percent describe the future as “frightening,” highlighting a generational divide in outlook on climate change. Older generations who have overcome their own challenges believe Gen Z’s anxieties will be healed with time. But seeing no evidence that an end to climate change is in sight, young people feel dismissed, and seek validation for their fears elsewhere. That’s why, post-IPCC special report, releases that describe the world ending in floods, droughts, and fires, like Hozier’s Wasteland, Baby!, Childish Gambino’s “Feels Like Summer,” and Soccer Mommy’s “newdemo” are making such an impact with the under-25 set — In “Rhododendron,” a track from Hurray for the Riff Raff’s new album, Life on Earth, impassioned swamp rocker Alynda Segarra sings about the plants that will outlive us, as well as flooding, hurricanes, environmental justice, and the way their adopted home city of New Orleans has suffered generations of ecological violence.

Songs have long been a way to bring social issues to the heart of popular conversations. Think about the protest songs of the civil rights movement, like Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddam”; Bruce Springsteen’s often-misconstrued song about Vietnam, “Born in the U.S.A.”; and N.W.A.’s controversial rap about police violence. Music is a way to contextualize the biggest issues of a time, and Climate Change is ours.

Lil Dicky Video Earth...if you can get Ariana Grande, Snoop, and Bieber on board to talk about climate, maybe we should take you seriously. For something less doom and Gloom check out video below!


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page