By Abby Lee, Staff Writer
The world has changed, and so has Paramore. The band’s latest single, “This is Why,” is marked with all the anxiety and turmoil that has shaped contemporary life since the release of their last album, 2017’s After Laughter.
“This is Why” is the title track of Paramore’s sixth studio album, set to arrive early next year. It gives fans a foreboding look at the global, existential issues plaguing the bands’ minds, but also what a new era of cohesion among the members may look like. This is Why will be the first Paramore album to feature the same members as its predecessor.
It just might be Paramore’s time away from the spotlight that gives “This is Why” its pressurized intensity ahead of the band’s long-awaited return.
PARAMORE RESPONDS TO THE MOMENT
Talking about “This is Why” with the Guardian, lead singer Hayley Williams explained that she was thinking a lot about the internet during the song’s writing process. She refers to the internet as a social experiment that has “been going wrong since day one.” “It exposes and exploits the general population’s blatant disregard for nuance.”
That vague apathy on the internet — and the casual cruelty of the political climate — fuel the band’s apparent cynicism.
In the music video accompanying the single, directed by Brendan Yates, there is a juxtaposition of cool emotionlessness and charged aggression. The first time we see Williams, she is poised on a boulder, singing almost sweetly, “If you have an opinion, maybe you should shove it. Or maybe you could scream it. Might be best to keep it.”
The pre-chorus builds. Guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro ramp up the energy before landing at an eruptive chorus. A pan reveals a small camera crew perched nearby, filming Williams. “This is why I don't leave the house. You say the coast is clear, but you won't catch me out,” she sings. Yates cuts between the calm and frames of Williams dancing out the emotion of the song.
Paramore is known for exploring various shades of anger, whether it be related to youth or heartbreak. Here, the band targets a social anger, caused by a collective crisis that is out of their control.
It’s ambiguous exactly what the band is angry at, whether the internet’s demand for performance and surveillance (hence the cameras) or something else. Regardless, anger over disempowerment may result in this expressed desire to turn inward, to hide from the ugliness of the outside world. “One step beyond your door, it might as well have been a free fall,” sings Williams in the song’s bridge.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR PARAMORE?
Paramore is currently touring the U.S. through November, and the band hasn’t been afraid to bring back old hits. The band played their beloved song “Misery Business” for the first time since 2018 when they discontinued it due to the misogynistic lyrics. The song has remained popular with listeners, and Williams performed it alongside Billie Eilish in April.
The band will tour South America in March. Their new album This is Why is available to pre-save and will release on February 10th, 2023.
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