If you were hoping Paramore would return to the sound of ‘Brand New Eyes’ or Riot’, then this new song will disappoint you greatly.
Four years since their half-good, half-shit self-titled album, Paramore finally dropped a new song – ‘Hard Times‘ – overnight, and it’s the very first taste of their upcoming fifth album, ‘After Laughter‘.
‘Hard Times‘ carries an accessible, 80’s new-wave sound to it, complete with chorus-tinged funk guitar rhythms, highly danceable drum parts, “quirky” vocal moments, as well as some vocoder synth effects in the end to cap it all off. Basically, it’s Ladyhawke and Sia meets The 1975. And that’ll be appreciated by the many adoring fans who could never see their heroes doing any wrong and loathed by those who just want the old Paramore back. But let’s face it, at this point in their career, that ain’t happening anytime soon.
As for the song’s accompanying music video, despite representing the song’s lyrics and the ebb and flow decently enough, it also feels kinda awkward and merely seems like the kind of “out-there” video some noisy, indie-pop band would’ve done back in 2012. Even if the video’s aesthetic does fit the album’s cover artwork.
Stream ‘Hard Times‘ and see for yourself…
‘After Laughter‘ was recorded at Nashville’s historic RCA Studio B – which has seen the likes of The Velvets and The Strokes pass through its doors – and was actually Paramore’s first time recording in their hometown too. The record was produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, Nine Inch Nails, Air, M38) and Paramore’s own guitarist, Taylor York.
‘After Laughter‘ also marks the return of original member and solid as fuck drummer/Halfnoise mastermind Zac Farro to the band since his departure following ‘Brand New Eyes‘. However, his brother and previous Paramore member, Josh Farro, remains out of the band, as old mate Christian rock group frontman ain’t coming back when songs like ‘Ignorance‘ are still key set staples.
‘After Laughter’ is out May 12th via Fueled By Ramen. And it probably won’t be as good as ‘Brand New Eyes’. Few things are, after all.