It has been four very long years since the release of new Paramore music. There had been talk for a while now about a new album in the works, but I was starting to lose hope that they were ever going to come back with anything. The band had been keeping their fans on their toes for a very long time, introducing estranged band member Zac Farro back into the lineup, and this particular week, teasing their new album cover little by little, updating their profile picture with a little bit more every single day. And then the day we had been waiting for finally came: Paramore officially dropped a new single, album release date, and tour dates.

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Paramore is famous for changing their sound album to album. The change in their sound was most drastically noted after the release of their last Self-Titled recorded, which held more of a pop vibe which differentiated from their usual pop-punk vibe. This particular record too shows the bands growth in the past four years, as the latest single “Hard Times” is very upbeat, poppy, and unique with a bit of an 80’s flare to it.

“Hard Times” sound and beat is contagiously catchy, making you bob your head and dance along to the catchy drum beat and guitar riffs. The instrumental on the track are really unique, it almost has a electronic type vibe to it. Personally, I am a huge fan of the lyrics themselves. The actual darkness of the lyrics is very well hidden in the upbeat happy tempo, and Hayley William’s smooth voice. The opening lines to the song is “All that I want, is to wake up fine, tell me that I’m alright, that I ain’t gonna die” which opens the idea of the sort’ve sad meaning behind the song. It continues to be evident through the chorus, as William’s sings “hard times, gonna make you wonder why you even try, hard times, gonna take you down and laugh when you cry.” As they always are, the lyrics to this Paramore song are just so real, with a message that really just needs to be said. It also helps that this song is really good and ridiculously catchy, so good that the song came out this morning, and I’ve already listened to it at least 20 times.

The music video to the song features an unusually blonde-haired Williams, along side long time bandmate Taylor York and returning drummer Farro. This is the first Paramore album made without former bassist Jeremy Davis, who left the band in 2015. Following the exit of Davis, the future of the band was a bit uncertain, something that Williams herself as even said.

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“Hard Times” gives us fans a sneak peak into the new Paramore. Turning away from their heavier roots, “Hard Times” is light and upbeat, not the typical head-banigng single you would expect from this band. Although different from what we have come to expect, I think this new sound and its evolution incapsulates the change that this band has gone through over the past four years. As life has constantly thrown curve balls at them, Paramore has boot and rallied each time, coming out better than ever. And as they have matured, their sound has done so with them. This album seems to be taking a step further away from their former scene/Warped Tour era style of music, as it began to do so with the release of their Self-Titled record. “Hard Times” give us a sneak peak at what we can except from this new era of Paramore, and I cannot wait to see what else lies on the new album. With the release of an album name, release date, and a set of European tour dates, it is clear that Paramore is ready to get back into action after their four year hiatus.

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Paramore’s latest album “After Laughter” is expected to be released May 12th.

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