Music Diaries: Paramore

 Hello world, I haven't decided if I've just elected to start blogging again as a sort of writing therapy for myself or if this is something that I can really sustain. That being said, writing about my interests and hobbies has always been one of my favorite past times, if you could see my high school notebooks, filled with lists of favorite films, albums, artists, novels, you'd get it. Something about lists and organizing my favorite things. So this first post will be part of a series on my favorite artists and subsequently, their music that has impacted my life.

When I was 15 years old, attending private school, I made a new friend who inadvertently introduced me to music that I related to, on a deeper level than I had ever connected with music before. The song that started it all for me was Pressure by Paramore. At this point in my life, I've traveled to see Paramore on three occasions throughout their career, and they put on a fantastic show, led by Hayley Williams, the ever evolving firecracker who is the reason Paramore still exists in their present form today.

When you're in 9th grade, everything is a big deal - heart-break feels like the end of your existence, winning a basketball game feels like all is right in the world and an entire album can act as the backdrop to your youth. Paramore's All We Know Is Falling was that album for me, and then RIOT! and then Brand New Eyes. Needless to say, they just got me.  I've always felt that Hayley Williams was sort of a kindred spirit, firstly because of our shared ginger roots but also because of the direction she took her drove her music in, her stylistic decisions and her overall openness and transparency with fans.

At the time, I thought that Paramore's self titled album, released in 2012, was as good as it could possibly get. When people talk about this bands "prime years", they're talking about RIOT! and Brand New Eyes, but for me, the self titled days were Paramore at their best.

After such a highlight, Paramore fans collectively waited 5 years for new material. A very public lawsuit went down between Jeremy and Hayley and then there was this colossal silence from Hayley and co. and it was questionable if Hayley would ever put out new music under the Paramore umbrella ever again.
So you'll understand that when I heard that a full length album, After Laughter, would be released in May of 2017, I was ecstatic (understatement of the year). Hard Times was the first single to be released, and the underlying emotion that erupted in me was confusion. I was and am a dedicated Paramore follower, so even though I didn't necessarily understand the new direction and sound, I refused to write this new chapter off. It took me a good two months after the album came out to understand that not only is their experience, but it's a love letter us as a fans, we are not alone in our dark times, but in my opinion, a great album is cohesive and spans many emotions and experiences and that is exactly what After Laughter is at its core.

I was playing the album in its entirety on a long drive with my sister and her husband this past summer when two truths occurred to me. Truth number one is that After Laughter is actually a bit sad when you take the lyrics at face value. Truth number two is that it's okay... it's more than okay, it's real. It's sort of an anomaly because the underlying sound of this album is an upbeat 80's throwback (which I'm obsessed with now), but if you are really absorbing the lyrics, you get to see what Hayley, and they guys have actually been going through, and exactly how much our generation has in common, regardless of status, income, and quality of life.

** All photos taken from google