Paramore Excites Fans With Reunion and “This Is Why”

Michael H., Staff Writer

American rock band Paramore released a new single “This is Why” on September 28, and announced a new album to be released in early 2023. The band played the new song live earlier this week at Mechanic’s Bank Arena in Bakersfield, CA. In addition to this teaser, fans were treated to a rendition of mainstream favorite “Misery Business” despite the band saying they wouldn’t play it for a very long time, following criticism of its language use. 

Paramore returned after a five-year hiatus with new single “This is Why.” The band first gained popularity among pop-punk fans in 2005 with their first studio album All We Know Is Falling. The first album’s themes were shaped around the departure of bass player Jeremy Davis which is reflected in the cover and songs of the album. Their 2007 sophomore album Riot! launched the band into mainstream success with the album’s single “Misery Business” peaking at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and charting for thirty weeks.

After the Riot tour the band released The Final Riot!a live version of the album filmed on tour including songs not on the original album. The band also released two songs for the soundtrack of the movie Twilight “I Caught Myself” and “Decode”. The 2009 follow-up album Brand New Eyes had another song  “The Only Exception” on the Billboard Hot 100 chart peaking at #24. Brand new eyes also dealt with topics more personal such as the band’s behind-the-scenes struggles. Their 2013 self-titled album produced their first and only current song to chart in the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 list “Ain’t It Fun”. 

Paramore’s 2017 album After Laughter dealt with more personal topics to the band. Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety were talked about in the album as well as the exhaustion the band felt during that era in their lives. 

Shortly thereafter, Paramore disbanded and lead singer Hayley Williams released solo albums Petals for Armor (2020) and Flowers for Vases / Descansos (2021) both of which focused on the personal mental health struggles of Williams. “Being able to now recognize and be aware of the feeling in my body that point me toward the fact that, ‘Hey this isn’t healthy,’ or my anxiety,” Williams said in a 2020 interview discussing Petals for Armor.

Much to the delight of fans, Paramore decided to reunite in the studio in January of this year. The band wanted to have a new sound and did not want to do the same thing that left them burnt out at the end. “I’m always waiting for the moment for us to know we’re onto something new and we’re not just rehashing the same shit,” says Hayley Williams. She notes, “We got to feel that feeling early on this time.” The new song “This Is Why” is a callback to the band’s older pop-punk and alternative rock sound while still keeping some of the 80s new wave that was featured heavily on After Laughter.

“This Is Why” explores topics that have affected most people in recent years such as the pandemic. The song can be seen as a response to the recent events of the world and how the band feel about them. Indeed, Paramore’s music evolved with each album and could be seen as growing up with their fans as each deals with different topics that a person could experience as they grow up.

“This Is Why” starts off with slower guitar and gradually speeds up leading to the vocals similar to the solo album Petals for Armor in the beginning. The lyrics reflect how many people feel about the political climate today: “If you have an opinion / Maybe you should shove it / Or maybe you could scream it / Might be best to keep it”. Later in the song, it speeds up and the vocals are very reminiscent of previous Paramore albums. Williams later goes on to sing “This is why I don’t leave the house” and “One step beyond your door / It might as well have been a free fall”. Reflective of the feeling people felt during the pandemic and today with other major events happening, the song highlights the uncertainty many have about the present and the future. The song was written last and became the title track for the new album. Williams notes its significance, saying “It summarizes the plethora of ridiculous emotions, the rollercoaster of being alive in 2022, having survived even just the last three or four years.”

The music video premiered the same day as the song, September 2, 2022. It was filmed in Malibu, CA, and filled with scenes of the band being filmed by a camera crew and the band playing their instruments. Throughout the video the band is seen among nature. For the end of the video Williams enters a trailer and spreads red lipstick all over her face in the mirror before the music stops.

The song was praised by critics for filling in the bridge between the band’s older pop-punk sound and the sound featured on After Laughter. Paramore has announced a North American and European tour for next spring and summer. Another single for the album has not been announced yet but the ten-song tracklist has. The album releases February 10 of next year.  “This is Why” is available to stream on Spotify, Apple music, Amazon music and most other music streaming platforms.