TikTok’s growing role in popular culture has caused countless songs to be resurrected over the past few years – including some recognizable rock from over a decade ago. While many of the app’s Gen Z users have been exposed to 2000s mainstays like Paramore and Arctic Monkeys thanks to recent releases, several tracks that were released years ago, and were classics to millennials, have found a new life on TikTok.
Some of these songs have soundtracked iconic television and film scenes, and now find themselves being discovered by a new audience; they’ve also inspired listeners already familiar with their charms to reminisce on simpler times, get up and dance. While some of these artists have taken breaks to embark on solo careers or focus on their mental health, their music lives on and encourages fans, new and old, to keep engaging.
Here are 10 rock songs from the mid-00’s that TikTok has revived.
Vampire Weekend, “A-Punk”
Originally Released: February 2008
TikTok Revival: October 2020
The indie giants are known for their unique blend of rock, Afropop and classical music elements, and their energetic 2008 hit found new appreciation among young guitarists and instrumentalists on TikTok starting in October 2020. Several viral covers of the track have come out on TikTok since its original rise on the platform, as well as fan-made videos that compared the track to older alt classics with similar chords, including the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” and the Smiths’ “This Charming Man.”
Simple Plan, “I’m Just a Kid”
Originally Released: February 2002
TikTok Revival: April 2020
The pop-punk song about childhood growing pains was among the first round of rock songs finding new life on TikTok. It first circulated on the platform in April 2020, shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Users would recreate sentimental childhood photos years later to the tune. The popularity of the trend was primarily driven by families who reunited to quarantine amid stay-at-home orders and an uncertain future. The band has since created their own presence on TikTok, and in May 2020 even participated in the trend themselves.
Blink-182, “I Miss You”
Originally Released: February 2004
TikTok Revival: April 2021, August 2022
Another track that helped define the 2000s emo aesthetic, “I Miss You” has found itself in several trend cycles on TikTok. In the spring of 2021, many musicians took to the platform to cover the song, and some comically overexaggerated what they referred to as “singing in cursive” or “the emo accent.” And last summer, other TikTok users lip synced along to the second verse’s opening line, “Where are you?,” and layered the track over funny videos about daily inconveniences or using comedy to overcome trauma. The band recently made their TikTok debut in rabbit suits while announcing their massive 2023 reunion and new single “Edging,” set to drop on Friday.
Paramore, “Misery Business”
Originally Released: June 2007
TikTok Revival: May 2021
After a five-year band hiatus, Paramore returned triumphantly last month with their newest single, “This is Why,” the first song released off of their upcoming 2023 album of the same name. Prior to the reunion, the band maintained their pop-punk royalty status – thanks in part to Olivia Rodrigo’s interpolation of “Misery Business” on her chart-topping 2021 track “good 4 u,” which sparked several trends on TikTok mixing the two songs. Millennials showed off their emo and punk style at the time of Paramore’s release in 2007, highlighting the nostalgic ties between generations. Paramore’s Hayley Williams made the choice to remove the song from the band’s set list in 2018, after Williams expressed that it no longer aligned with her feminist values, but in October, the band played the song at their first show in four years.
Snow Patrol, “Chasing Cars”
Originally Released: June 2006
TikTok Revival: July 2021, February 2022
The instantly recognizable alt-rock ballad from Snow Patrol soundtracked pivotal scenes in two quintessential 2000s dramas, Grey’s Anatomy and One Tree Hill. The declaration of love in the lyrics added a powerful element to these life-and-death scenes, and the swelling emotion continues to resonate with Gen Z. The track had its first viral cover on the platform in July 2021 by a user named Paravi, but began trending in February 2022, mostly with users appreciating the songwriting or touring Grey’s Anatomy’s filming locations. And as was the case during the YouTube boom 10 years ago, several other users have posted acoustic covers of the song.
My Chemical Romance, “Teenagers”
Originally Released: July 2007
TikTok Revival: July 2022
Often regarded as an essential emo anthem, “Teenagers” found newfound popularity more than 10 years after its release – both with parents of teenagers and teenagers themselves – as My Chemical Romance continued their long-awaited reunion. Some parents took to TikTok to share rebellious or comically dramatic things that their teenaged children had done, but going into July of 2022, a different narrative formed. Amid the overturn of Roe v. Wade in June, Gen Z took to protesting across the nation, and a lot of users were quick to lip sync along to “Teenagers” and point out the tenacity of their generation.
Hinder, “Lips of an Angel”
Originally Released: April 2006
TikTok Revival: July-August 2022
Hinder’s crossover smash has been hailed as “dad rock” by many Gen Z listeners, while finding its way to some divided commentary on TikTok some 16 years after its release. Many of the app’s users lip-synched along to the track and detailed how it helped their fathers get through divorces in the 2000s…despite the initial impression that its lyrics may glorify cheating. Others have compared it to Joji’s 2022 top 10 hit “Glimpse of Us,” since both songs detail a person who reminisces over a past relationship despite being with a new partner. While Hinder’s original frontman Austin John Winkler left the band in 2013, they are back on the road again with new lead singer Marshal Dutton, and posted a new acoustic version of “Lips of an Angel” on TikTok in August.
Arctic Monkeys, “505”
Originally Released: April 2007
TikTok Revival: August 2022
The rock stalwarts led by Alex Turner have recently made a comeback with music new and old. Several of their songs, including “I Wanna Be Yours” and “Do I Wanna Know?” (both from 2013 album AM) have found new life on TikTok after many users revived the Tumblr aesthetic, while “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” also made the rounds on TikTok in 2020 following Miley Cyrus’ cover of the song for MTV Unplugged. Most recently, “505” has blown up on the platform thanks to a variety of different videos – from “crumbling completely” after a long run, to sing-alongs while piecing together 2014-inspired fashion trends. All the while, the band has released two new singles, “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” and “Body Paint,” in preparation of upcoming album The Car, due Oct. 21.
Keane, "Somewhere Only We Know"
Originally Released: February 2004
TikTok Revival: September 2022
The British band’s breakthrough 2004 hit has been a dramatic staple of movies and TV shows over the years, including appearances in He’s Just Not That Into You, Grey’s Anatomy and Glee. In September, TikTok creators used the song to soundtrack their own videos with the caption “conversations with little me,” flashing between childhood photos and adult photos of themselves accomplishing their dreams. Lead singer Tom Chaplin acknowledged the sped-up version of the song that initiated a string of TikTok trends in an interview with the NME shortly after it began trending on the platform in the U.S. again, adding that “Somewhere Only We Know” “keeps on taking on new lives.”
Coldplay, “Viva La Vida”
Originally Released: June 2008
TikTok Revival: September 2022
The theatrical title track smash from Coldplay’s Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends contains countless historical references, and describes a powerful leader who has fallen from grace as he reflects on his past. Some of the lyrics’ Biblical references are what sparked a September 2022 TikTok trend, for which Christian users have shared their favorite verses in video montages with the song playing in the background. While the band has not yet responded to the trend, they do maintain a large TikTok presence, with frontman Chris Martin and his bandmates sharing behind-the-scenes moments from music videos and recent performances.