Earlier posts have covered the similarities between the music of the late 2010s and previous mellow, vulnerable phases of the 15-year cultural excitement cycle. First, dream pop as an indie phenomenon. Second, dream pop's influences going mainstream. And third, the dissonant and spastic turn that dance music takes.
The last mellow, vulnerable phase was the early 2000s, so you might expect to see another incarnation of garage rock revival bands such as the Strokes, or dance rock bands like Franz Ferdinand. But so far -- and there's only 6 months left in the current vulnerable phase -- those two have not materialized.
Well, they were not staples of other vulnerable phases either -- the late '80s and the early '70s were not distinguished by these genres. To the extent that there was a mixture of dance and rock, it was dark, emo, down-tempo, and brooding -- glam rock of the early '70s, goth rock of the late '80s, and electroclash of the early 2000s.
That's distinct from the bouncy, upbeat genres of dance rock and garage rock revivals that started in 2002 and lasted into the late 2000s. They weren't as unreservedly upbeat as the music of the manic, invincible phase of the cycle, though. They were clearly marked by the brooding, emo zeitgeist of a vulnerable phase, creating an unusual fusion of brooding and bouncy.
You wouldn't expect to find something that body-moving and carefree during a refractory phase, so there must've been something unique to the early 2000s -- and that was the psychological reaction to 9/11.
I've covered that topic before here, detailing how the 5 years or so after 9/11 looked in some key ways like a rising-crime culture, a la the 1960s through the '80s, rather than the falling-crime culture that had prevailed since the '90s. That post discusses the "postpunk revival," as these genres were called back then, as evidence.
It was not rising violent crime rates from opportunistic individual criminals, but something similar -- a perceived rise in the risk of violence due to organized terrorism. Rising uncertainty about the safety of the near-term future makes us discount the future and want to live more in the moment. That really has an effect when the cause is a decades-long rise in violent crime rates, but 9/11 was such a spectacle that you couldn't help but be affected by it, at least for 5 years or so, until we didn't get any more spectacles and wrote off those risks.
And while there has been no widespread phenomenon or social scene around garage rock and dance rock this time around, there are still isolated songs that have taken a stab at it. They just can't find a broader resonance, since there's been no 9/11-like event to put people in a mood of "the end of the world is coming, might as well party while we still can".
Here's one that sounds like the Strokes reincarnated as a girl band, and another that could be a lost track from Franz Ferdinand's first album (maybe alluded to by "this fire" appearing in the lyrics).
"I Dare You" by the Regrettes (2019):
"Lash Out" by Alice Merton (2018):