Dance music came long before millennials were even born, and will continue long after we’re gone. The genre has no age limit, whether you’re yung, hip, have a family, have grandkids, whatever – you’re accepted and we just want to see you vibing along with the beat. However, it could certainly be argued that the current “EDM craze” is sustained by millennials.

I’ll be the first to laugh at all the memes, jabs, and op-eds claiming that millennials need to grow up, that we’re too sensitive, and have a grossly skewed world-view. That’s fine, but there’s a reason our opinions and feelings are present for everyone to see – it’s called the internet. And while I’ll concede that some of these points might be valid, generalizing an entire demographic never quite works out.

But let’s continue down this road of generalizing millennials and say yes, we are more sensitive than recent generations. F*ck it, we’re all emotional wrecks if we’re being honest with ourselves. And you know what else? Many millennials are comfortable talking about our emotional distress and expressing it in some fashion, just like countless generations before us. This, in combination with modern audio equipment, DAWs, and production techniques, grants opportunities to express these emotions that simply didn’t exist before now.

I’m absolutely not saying that millennials are the first to use emotions as creative fuel. That would be stupid. Humans have been doing exactly that since cavemen were clacking sticks by a fire. What I am saying, is that we have the unique opportunity to express these emotions in ways that were previously impossible with the technology of generations passed.

It’s widely accepted that there are six basic emotions universally felt by humans, so here are six tracks that convey these emotions in a way uniquely possible through electronic music. Of course, we’re talking about emotions here, so this is all rather subjective.

What tracks elicit your happiness, or comfort your being when in the throes of depression? I’ve explained myself, but how do these selections make you feel?


Progressive, euphoric, stirring, Dzeko & Torres know all about overwhelming the senses, and this interpretation of ODESZA is a prime example. There’s something about the bright, pounding lead that bubbles up inside and leaves a smirk on anyone in within earshot.


Disclaimer: Dr. Ozi might just make you want to start a riot. This explosive dose of neurofunk embodies an aggressive release of pent up frustration. The high-energy drum & bass is rife with malicious leads, unsettling snarls, and disturbing percussion to convey a sense of tension.


Mura Masa knows just how to tap into the vacant beauty of static and space. Rumbling low-end, crumbling static, and introspective chimes panning to and fro set the tone for a deep longing. Everything about the production amplifies the sulking undertones of the track’s lyrics, and it’s all to easy to lie about straddling the fringes and tell your friends “I’ll be alright.”


This vicious specimen packages the most uncomfortable sound design of modern dubstep, and it’s strangely pleasant. The automatic fire of anguished synths, coupled with demonic choir samples and vocal edits, make for a sincerely unpleasant experience to trigger anyone’s fight or flight response.


PC Music has a way shamelessly plucking shock from the aether and serving it up in a sonic package. “BIPP” was the first track I ever heard from SOPHIE, and it’s gurgling bass, post-pop vocals, and unabridged blips will never cease to surprise me.


Brooding, pervasive, seductive, oftentimes there’s a gruesome infatuation with disgust, and to me this is embodied by unsettling mix of space and loops in “READY.” The lyrics pack hordes of imagery, centered around grotesque discontentment, all the while the background tension continues to build. This one might not make sense for you, but turn up the volume and try to get lost.

And everything in between…