Paramore’s Hayley Williams Hints At “Lovely Things” & New Music

It’s been two years since Paramore released their last album, After Laughter. It launched the singles “Hard Times,” “Told You So,” “Fake Happy,” “Rose-Colored Boy,” and “Caught In The Middle,” as well as plenty of touring. But in the last year, the band has gone pretty quiet. Drummer Zac Farro (yes, he’s back in the band!) focused on his other music project, HalfNoise, in 2018. Frontwoman Hayley Williams, meanwhile, has been working on self-care – in the form of social media breaks and getting help for her mental health – as well as her hair dye business, Good Dye Young. Although Paramore doesn’t seem to be actively working on a new album just yet, it does seem that Hayley is writing. Today she shared a trio of Instagram posts, and the “lovely things” in the captions sounded like a song verse:

What you see
And all the lonely,
Lovely things you don’t

The first photo is from the After Laughter promo shoots. The last photo shows Hayley playing guitar on her bed, with her dogs serving as an adoring audience. However, the most intriguing post is the video in the middle. Hayley is clearly singing and playing a tune… but the video is muted. Is this a new song? Perhaps one we’ll hear on a future Paramore album?

Check out the “lovely things” posts below:

View this post on Instagram

what you see photo by @zacfarro

A post shared by hayley williams (@yelyahwilliams) on

View this post on Instagram

and all the lonely,

A post shared by hayley williams (@yelyahwilliams) on

View this post on Instagram

lovely things you dont

A post shared by hayley williams (@yelyahwilliams) on

 

Although it’s been two years since we got After Laughter, it’s still too soon to say when Paramore will release their sixth album. This is the first indication of any new music coming together, and it could be another year or two before we get to hear it. But it is promising! We may get to hear this “lovely things” song in the not-too-distant future.

For now, be sure to revisit After Laughter and Paramore’s earlier albums. Keep checking back here for all the latest Paramore music news.

Paramore Shares Trippy New Video For “Caught In The Middle”

More than a year after dropping their fifth album, After Laughter, Paramore is back with another single and music video. “Caught In The Middle” is a deceptively peppy track about being stuck in life. Frontwoman Hayley Williams sings about being able to sabotage herself without any help. Meanwhile, tropical, ’80s-inspired music tricks us into cheeriness in spite of the lyrical mood.

Today, the single gets the video treatment. And what a trippy, wild clip it is. In the animated, lo-fi music video, watch as Hayley, Taylor York, and Zac Farro navigate a strangely fruity world. They move from one animation style to the next, never content to stay in one place too long. By the end of the video, we see that they were jumping from postcard to recipe on a refrigerator covered in reminders.

Computer Team, who have been part of most the After Laughter videos, directed the new clip. In a statement, they summed up the video better than we can:

In our video for the song, we put Hayley, Taylor, and Zac into animated worlds that go from ‘80s nostalgia one moment to futuristic sci-fi the next. The band runs from one world to another, never able to stay in one place, always being chased by one particularly relentless giant orange.

Watch the music video for “Caught In The Middle” below:

In addition to sharing the clip for “Caught In The Middle,” the band also announced a new project they’re starting, Art + Friends.

We are pretty close to wrapping up our touring cycle for After Laughter and heading home. So we thought, “Instead of a throwing a homecoming party for ourselves, why don’t we throw a party for the whole city?”

We want to celebrate our hometown and the fast growing, wacky and wonderful alternative music and arts community of Nashville. We want to show you what our fine city has to offer, outside of bachelorette parties and karaoke bars. So here’s your official invite to Art + Friends.

We (Paramore) are gonna play a big rock gig, along with some of our friends – it’s a solid lineup of all Nashville based artists. Plus, there will be tons of local art to see and experience, local independent business owners showing off their wares, and some local food & bevs.

Take it from a group of kids who grew up right here in this city – the new Nashville is definitely alright with us. We’re excited to give everyone a chance to experience Nashville the way we do.

Find out more about Art + Friends here and look out for pre-sale tickets this Friday.

“Caught In The Middle” is the fifth song on After Laughter to get the video treatment. Be sure to also watch videos for “Hard Times,” “Told You So,” “Fake Happy,” and “Rose-Colored Boy.”

You can buy After Laughter on iTunes or stream it on Spotify now. Meanwhile, Paramore is currently touring North America with Foster The People. Check out dates and find tickets before it’s too late.

Keep checking back here for all the latest Paramore news.

Paramore Takes “Rose-Colored Boy” To Morning News In Amazing Music Video

After a weekend full of behind-the-scenes teasing, today Paramore released the music video for their latest single, “Rose-Colored Boy.” The song is a highlight on their new album, After Laughter. Suitably, the music video for “Rose-Colored Boy” is the best one yet from the new record.

The trio appear as news anchors on a morning television show – Wake Up! Roseville – circa 1980. The retro clip is wholesome: all smiles and corny jokes as they report on the wonderful news stories of the day. With their sunny weather and adorable pups, things couldn’t be better in Roseville. But as the video wears on, Hayley Williams begins to break down. Visions of her younger self question what she’s doing with her life. Her current job certainly doesn’t live up to her hard-hitting journalism goals. Finally, the anchors let loose as they channel their inner rockers on live television. The video is amazing, and the aesthetic perfectly matches the throwback sound of “Rose-Colored Boy.”

Check out the excellent video below:

Following videos for “Hard Times,” “Told You So,” and “Fake Happy,” this is the fourth music video we’ve gotten from After Laughter. With any luck, “Rose-Colored Boy” will become Paramore’s next big hit. They certainly deserve one this era!

You can buy After Laughter on iTunes or stream it on Spotify now. Meanwhile, Paramore is currently touring Australia and Asia. Check out dates and find tickets before it’s too late.

Keep checking back here for all the latest Paramore news.

Paramore Turns Smiles Upside Down In New “Fake Happy” Music Video

Earlier this year, Paramore released their 5th studio album, After Laughter. Fans enjoyed music videos for “Hard Times” and “Told You So” ahead of its release, but waited patiently for video #3. Today, Paramore finally dropped the video for “Fake Happy,” their current single and an album highlight. Frontwoman Hayley Williams wanders around New York City, seeing everyone for who they really are. Behind those fake grins, she instead observes upside down smiley faces. Though the rest of the band doesn’t appear in the music video, drummer Zac Farro did direct this clip.

Watch the music video for “Fake Happy” below:

After Laughter came out last May. You can stream the album on Spotify, or buy it on iTunes now. You can also stream the radio edit of “Fake Happy,” which cuts the song’s intro. The album includes the first two singles, “Hard Times” and “Told You So.”

Paramore is currently finishing up a North American tour, and will head to Europe, Oceana, and Asia in the new year. Check out dates and grab your tickets before it’s too late.

Enjoy Paramore’s addictive single, “Fake Happy,” along with its new music video. Next year, the band will likely release another single. Perhaps it’ll be “Rose Colored Boy”?

Keep checking back here for all the latest Paramore news.

Review: Paramore’s Excellent ‘After Laughter’ Masks Depression With Cheery New Wave

As with all great art, Paramore’s new album After Laughter is an expression of real life and real feelings. It reflects what’s been going on in the three band members’ lives, from the personal to the public. We can only guess at what has happened in their personal lives, but a few things we do know for sure. We know that last year frontwoman Hayley Williams married her longtime boyfriend, Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory. At the end of 2015, Paramore’s bassist Jeremy Davis left the band, but in summer 2016, ex-drummer Zac Farro rejoined the band he co-founded.

Hayley has also been open about the depression she has felt in the last couple of years. With the many lineup changes within Paramore, she and guitarist Taylor York had to decide whether to even continue the band. There was a time when she was ready to call it quits, but with Taylor’s support, they persevered.

After Laughter fully and honestly captures a time in our lives where we may feel depression, self-doubt, anxiety, exhaustion, and uncertainty. It’s the kind of record that makes sense for 20-somethings coming to terms with now being adults. But it’s also the kind of record that can apply to people of any age. Those feelings can come up at any time in life, and Hayley deftly describes those emotions and thoughts as you tackle your demons and take another step forward.

Throughout After Laughter, there are two key elements that determine the album’s character. The lyrical themes and mood consistently tell a story of depression, relationships struggles (whether romantic or friendship), and difficulties in staying true to yourself. The lyrics can feel rather down for the most part, but there’s also a sense of overcoming these tribulations and finding answers and peace.

The music, on the other hand, generally suggests a much lighter, happier tone. Think back to Paramore’s self-titled 2013 record. Songs like “Still Into You” and especially “Ain’t It Fun” set the stage for how After Laughter progresses musically. These songs have rhythmic energy, flickering guitars, new wave and funk inspiration, and intricately complex instrumentation. Xylophones and overall cheery music helps offset the darkly honest lyrics. The combination offers hope in the face of hard times. (Pun intended.)

In some ways, the songs can feel overly consistent. There isn’t a lot of variation in musical style or lyrical mood. This is a case where adding two or three tracks – songs with an entirely different mood, tempo, or instrumentation – may have improved the album. The way Paramore offered up a variety of styles and moods, making it feel like a roller coaster. In contrast, After Laughter is more like a merry-go-round. It’s an entirely different ride, which is a surprise in itself, though a ride that’s a bit less dynamic.

This is not to say the album has no variation. Songs like “26” and “Tell Me How” offer up a gentler backdrop that lets the introspective lyrics shine. “No Friend” is perhaps the weirdest, most progressive song Paramore has ever put out. These three songs help prevent the album from feeling too consistent or cohesive. They’re just different enough that they’re refreshing and keep the album running smoothly.

All in all, After Laughter is an impressive, almost conceptual album that describes real life in a way that is honest yet hopeful. It’s a very 1980s new wave pop album, with Hayley’s signature rock screams toned back as a new mood takes center stage. And while it’s different, it’s also worth the listen. Songs like “Fake Happy” and “Caught In The Middle” are the standout cornerstones of the album, while “26” and “Tell Me How” are highlights that add balance and intrigue to After Laughter. Paramore has changed over time – a combination of simply growing up as well as seeing lineup changes – but wouldn’t we expect that? We all have to grow up sometime. Paramore has evolved, and After Laughter is an excellent album that shows courage and confidence.

 

Track by Track

“Hard Times” – The album starts with its lead single, “Hard Times.” Already it sets the musical tone for After Laughter. It sounds happy and bouncey, a xylophone bringing childlike optimism to a lyrically bleak message. Hayley makes a simple wish to “wake up fine” in the morning, instead of facing the anxiety brought on by a tough life. The new wave ’80s groove masks the mood, but make no mistake. “Hard Times” is an update to Charles Dickens’ novel of the same name. Times are tough, but we’ll survive them.

“Rose-Colored Boy” – The last song written for the album, this is the only song that began with both Zac and Taylor together, before Hayley added words and melody. “Rose-Colored Boy” describes that person in your life who is always happy, looks on the bright side, and wants to cheer you up. But as Hayley explains, we can’t all be like that. She sings, “hearts are breaking, wars are raging,” and that’s reason enough to be down in the dumps. “Rose-Colored Boy” is a highlight on After Laughter.

“Told You So” – Our second taste of the new album before it dropped was also one of the first tracks Taylor wrote. “Told You So” is a chill song with a surprisingly funky, rapidly played guitar in the chorus. Hayley ruminates on being wrong in an argument and facing a sore winner. In the bridge, it’s clear that this is a repeating cycle: “Throw me into the fire, throw me in, pull me out again,” over and over and over. We all make mistakes, but do others have to point it out to us?

“Forgiveness” – The other side of the coin is “Forgiveness”. It starts with guitar and handclaps before Hayley admits that “I cried until I couldn’t cry” and “I don’t pick up when you call”. This is a song that feels calm, yet restrained energy and fury runs just beneath the surface.

“Fake Happy” – “Fake Happy” is one of the best songs on the album. It starts with acoustic guitar, reminiscent of the interludes on Paramore. But 38 seconds into the track, it suddenly shifts into the fun ’80s sound we’ve grown to expect on After Laughter. After describing insincere smiles and pretend pleasantry, the chorus explodes into Hayley’s pleas for honesty. “Oh please don’t ask me how I’ve been, don’t make me play pretend,” she sings in the most rock vocals we’ve heard on the album yet. “Fake Happy” is a song every fan will love.

“26” – Like “Fake Happy,” “26” begins with an acoustic guitar. But this time, the finger-picked guitar runs throughout the song, joined only by a string quartet. Daniel James, a friend of the band, did the string arrangement. Hayley sings about someone bringing her down and her own prior insistence on keeping her feet on the ground. In the chorus, she advises to “hold onto hope if you got it,” recalling “Last Hope” from the previous record. “26” finds Hayley trying to remind herself of happiness. It’s gentle, like a lullaby, and a highlight on After Laughter.

“Pool” – “Pool” was an older song idea Taylor had that Zac helped finish. The song opens with sounds like wind chimes, but then drums and guitar stabs come in and take it back into the ’80s direction. Hayley admits “no one breaks my heart like you” in the verses before getting into a dreamy chorus. It’s a love song of sorts, but one where the lovers involved don’t always bring each other happiness.

“Grudges” – Zac brought this song to the band and Taylor helped finish it. Fans probably guessed, and Hayley confirmed, that she wrote “Grudges” about Zac. After the falling out they had in 2010, this song is about recovering the friendship that fell through so long ago. She wonders “are you recounting all my faults?” and “could it be that I’ve changed?”. But in the end, Hayley decides that “we can’t keep holding onto grudges,” it’s time to start again. Coming full circle, she says that “we’ll laugh ’til we cry like we did when we were kids”. It’s a heartwarming song about rebuilding a broken friendship.

“Caught In The Middle” – This is the first song Paramore recorded for the album, and also among the best. It was originally more rock sounding, but when they got to Los Angeles they made some changes to the music so it’d fit the album better. However, they kept Hayley’s more “yelly” rock vocals. The first lines are instantly relatable: “I can’t think of getting old, it only makes me want to die / I can’t think of who I was, it only makes me want to cry / Can’t look back, can’t look too far ahead”. “Caught In The Middle” is a grooving, bouncey song that feels like a carefree cartwheel despite the troubled lyrics. It’s a standout, in part due to this line: “I don’t need no help, I can sabotage me by myself.”

“Idle Worship” – One of the more aggressive, angry sounding songs is “Idle Worship,” a play on words. We all need an idol, but no one is bulletproof. Whether you look up to your mom or idolize a band, they’re bound to let you down at some point, or change over time. No one is perfect and nothing is fixed. Hayley said this song is about faith being her one constant.

“No Friend” – No song on After Laughter will surprise you more than “No Friend,” featuring Aaron Weiss from mewithoutYou. It starts with progressive sounding music, Aaron murmuring in the background about who knows what. His talking/singing is buried in the mix of the song, only coming to the front as the song reaches its end. “No Friend” feels like a long interlude, confusing yet somehow important. You’ll have to listen closely to figure out what Aaron is saying. This is the only song Hayley doesn’t sing on.

“Tell Me How” – After Laughter ends with a beautiful piano ballad. But “Tell Me How” is not your typical piano ballad; it adds oddly cheery percussion under the chorus, giving the song a hopeful, almost tropical vibe between verses. It also has some of the best lyrics on the album. “I can’t call you a stranger, but I can’t call” is an early line, though the best comes later: “Of all the weapons you fight with, your silence is the most violent”. Hayley’s vocals are gentle, the song is tender, yet the beat brings the hoped-for resolution. “Tell Me How” is the perfect way to end the album.

 

Highlights on After Laughter include “Fake Happy,” “26,” “Caught In The Middle,” and “Tell Me How.”

You can buy After Laughter on iTunes or stream it on Spotify now.

Paramore After Laughter album cover 2017