After five years of laying low, pop punk stalwarts Paramore have finally returned with their brand new single “This is Why,” in anticipation of their upcoming sixth studio album of the same name. In a press statement, Hayley Williams said the song “summarizes the plethora of ridiculous emotions, the rollercoaster of being alive in 2022, having survived even just the last three or four years. You’d think after a global pandemic of fucking biblical proportions and the impending doom of a dying planet, that humans would have found it deep within themselves to be kinder or more empathetic or something.”
An irresistibly rollicking groove that balances skittering guitars and bass with idiosyncratic drumming and marimba, “This is Why” is a post-punk fanatic’s wet dream (Hayley Williams is a massive Talking Heads fan after all). The soulful, honey-coated vocals tie all of these elements together in a neat, vibrantly-colorful bow. The best way I can describe the song in a snappy one-liner is that it sounds like Erykah Badu singing for Gang of Four. However, it still maintains Paramore’s signature angst and fury at the current state of the world beyond their front doors, as Williams chants in the spiky chorus, “This is why I don’t leave the house/You say the coast is clear, but you won’t catch me out.”
While a majority of fans might claim to prefer them in their pop-infused hard rock heyday in the vein of Riot and Brand New Eyes, I personally preferred the new wave dance flavor of 2017’s After Laughter, despite the ludicrous and narrow-minded dissent from sour-faced audiences claiming that the band had ventured “too far into pop.” “This is Why,” builds upon that output substantially, and it’s the best Paramore has ever sounded. So if nobody else is going to say it, then I will: Paramore was always meant to be a post-punk band. And from the sound of things, it seems like Hayley Williams would agree.
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