Paramore - Hard Times

by: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn

Paramore is back, and we couldn't be happier!  These past few weeks, they have been teasing us with hints of new music, and everyone lost their minds when the band changed their twitter icons to a pink-purpleish mysterious background.  It all makes sense now.  Piece by piece, Hayley, Taylor, and Zac revealed the album cover for After Laughter, the band's fifth studio album (May 12th, Fueled by Ramen).  This album is co-produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsenand Taylor York, and was recorded in Nashville.  This is the first release since the most recent change in line-up, now consisting of Hayley Williams, Taylor York, and Zac Farro.

This morning, Paramore surprised us with not only a new single, but the new music video for "Hard Times."  It's a really, catchy song that will make you want to dance your worries away.  This song has a very 80's pop vibe to it, it's funky and fresh.  To be honest, it is not what I was expecting to hear.  It is a very different sound (more comparable to the self-titled era).  That is by NO means a bad statement/comparison.  Paramore was/is/will be a band.  Bands change their style, and that's okay.   Their sound is always evolving, and I genuinely am excited to hear the rest of this album.  I can definitely hear Zac's influences on this new single.  If you've ever heard a Halfnoise track (see my review of the Velvetface EP release show!), you'll know that that Zac is all about groovy, funky, vibey music.  Hayley has also shared on multiple occasions how she grew up listening to/influenced by soul/funk music.

Overall, I really dig "Hard Times."  I blasted it on my way to work on repeat.  I can truly connect with the lyrics "hard times, gonna make you wonder why you even try / hard times, gonna take you down and laugh when you cry."  There are obstacles in life, but when you've got your best friends but your side, you're gonna be a-okay.  That's exactly what is going on with Paramore; they've had an amazing journey, but they've faced many challenges (both as a band and as individuals).  Hayley, Taylor, and Zac have persevered to continue as a band and bring us new music and new memories.  I had the honor of seeing them perform together last weekend, and their chemistry on stage is undeniable.  They are three best friends who are excited to be writing and performing together.  We are excited for what's ahead!  Paramore is also heading out on a six-date UK tour this June.  Tickets will go on sale April 28th.

Check out the full track-listing for After Laughter-
1. Hard Times
2. Rose-Colored Boy
3. Told You So
4. Forgiveness
5. Fake Happy
6. 26
7. Pool
8. Grudges
9. Caught In The Middle
10. Idle Worship
11. No Friend
12. Tell Me How

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