Photo by: Paramore on Spotify
Pop-punk trio Paramore is back from a five year hiatus with a fresh new sound, a music video for their newest single “This is Why,” and an album announcement of the same name. In other words, Paramore fans are finally being “fed,” as the kids would say.
Although Paramore has been around as a band for over 20 years, their musical edge and eagerness to let their sound evolve with them has kept fans coming back. . After all, the emo-influenced singles Paramore released in the mid 2000’s, such as “Misery Business” from Brand New Eyes, sound much different from their newest indie-pop single, “This is Why.” The single, released on Sept 28th of this year, feels unique from previous work the band has released, and perhaps that’s what has allowed Paramore fans to continue to care for anything the band puts out.
The themes in their newest single are connected to the issues that Paramore’s frontwoman, Hayley Williams, has faced in regards to sexism in the public eye. As she went to explain in an interview with Laura Snapes for The Guardian, her journey as a musician has been marked by sexist belittlement from ex band-members, as well as by the media.
The lyrics in “This is Why” are at times simple, yet catchy, but this doesn’t prevent the song from expressing Williams’ discontent with the media and, more generally, the current state of the world. The opening lines of the single have Williams playfully stating the following:
“If you have an opinion / Maybe you should shove it / Or maybe you could scream it / Might be best to keep it”
As the song continues, Williams expresses that these outside opinions are precisely why she “doesn’t leave the house.” It is relevant to point out that as the song’s tempo builds up, the message of exhaustion becomes louder and louder, facilitated by Williams’ stunning vocal performance.
In terms of sound, it takes a few listens to understand or align with “This is Why.” Personally, the first listen of the track wasn’t very convincing, but as I curiously went back to it, I realized the intricacies in the production and started enjoying the new, bass heavy, funky sound that Paramore is going for. Although ”This is Why” doesn’t sound too unfamiliar from their previous record After Laughter, it is different and fresh enough to make it a worthwhile listen, especially nearing the end of the song, when the drums and Williams’ vocals take a more aggressive turn.
Moving on to the music video that accompanies “This is Why,” the visuals point to a different artistic direction. Paramore’s newest music video takes inspiration from 60s and ‘70s aesthetics, especially in terms of the wardrobe and makeup that Williams wears throughout. They seem heavily inspired by the mod look, and icons of the era such as Twiggy. Since it is common for artists to mix up their aesthetic, or go into different “eras” that distinguish an album release from the other, it will be interesting to see how this plays into the musical and visual creative process that Paramore embarks on for their upcoming album.
Even though Paramore has been greatly missed by fans since the release of “After Laughter” in 2017, the band finally put forth their newest single, “This is Why.” Likewise, their upcoming studio album under the same name will feature 10 songs, and will be available on all streaming platforms on Feb. 10th, 2023.