The Alternative Pop/rock band Paramore is set to come out with their fifth studio album called After Laughter on May 12th.
Although Paramore is classified as a pop/rock band, they are known as one of those bands that like to experiment with their sounds. While fans in the past have been critical of their experimentation with genre, it showcases their eccentricity. It is important for bands to experiment with their sound as they discover what works and what doesn’t and as it glorifies development. Paramore’s latest album After Laughter is an alternative/indie genre and without a doubt this is a genre that is trending and flooding the charts. This fifth album showcases their success as a band as they are still coming out with music despite losing band members in the past and being on a hiatus.
Looking at their song “Hard Times“, it is very different from their known sound from their earlier albums such as Riot!, as it was a harder and more rock sound. After Laughter does clash with their fourth album self titled album, through lyrical content and through nuances of sound. The song contains an 80’s vibe to it, which brings in both old and new aspects. The new aspect corresponding to the lyrics of “Hard Times“. It is definitely a song that many can relate to as many of us go through obstacles and difficult times that cause us to develop such issues like anxiety. As May is mental health month, the release of this song and the album fits perfectly. In addition, mental health has become a very prevalent issue and awareness affecting many young adults this year.
“Hard Times” unfolds the depression that lead singer Hayley Williams dealt with in 2016, because of personal issues in the band as well as facing the reality of growing up. She told The New York Times: “You can run on the fumes of being a teenager for as long as you want, but eventually life hits you real hard.”
The first verse of the song inevitably highlights the day in the life of what it is like to feel anxiety and or depression and deal with the overbearing stresses of life.
Told You So
Paramore’s second single “Told You So,” is another song that deals with hardship and struggle. “Told You So” is about hard times faced when individuals view your every move anticipating you to fail. The key subject matter corresponds to the lyric, “Hate to say I told you so,” If you listen to the song you’ll notice it is profoundly sung in a complaisant, and unfavourable manner. Hayley Williams explained in an interview: “Zac noticed that my anxiety and overall state was just a lot more peaceful on those drives…and [he] mentioned to me that it made him happy to see me rest for a moment. It means a lot that they conceptualized a video around a passing moment we had as friends.”
The song maintains a funky vibe to it as it coincides with a polyrhythmic funk pop genre. Adding additional colour to their sound with tropical rhythms that can be associated with Hawaiian sounds and summer-y electro-pop.
It’s no doubt that the band has gone through struggles, and were close to splitting up before they released their self-titled album, but to overcome those struggles is what is important and that is what Paramore has done. To come forth with your issues and be able to construct them in a song is groundbreaking.