The pop rock band Paramore made their return as a group in 2022 with their single “This is Why”, and today they released the album of the same name. Paramore initially went their separate ways in 2017 following the release of their album After Laughter, and the subsequent tour. During this time, lead singer Hayley Williams released several solo projects, notably Petals for Armor in 2020, which lyrically focused on her divorce and personal growth journey.
Paramore formed way back in 2004 when the original members were high school students in Franklin, Tennessee. They broke barriers as one of very few female-fronted pop punk bands of the early 2000s, something that Williams discusses more in depth now that she is older. She told NME ahead of the release of This is Why that she “hopes no young female experiences the sh*t that I did.”
Paramore has long been praised for their inclusion of diverse communities in their music. Due to the band’s upbringing in the Bible Belt, they occasionally combine elements of gospel choral music into their fusion punk and indie rock. The most notable example of this is their 2013 release “Ain’t It Fun.” Several Black artists, including 2023 Best Progressive R&B Album Grammy winner Steve Lacy, have cited the band as influences.
Now in their 30s, the band’s angsty teenage punk has aged well into a relatable indie rock with hints of their previous work. Williams now references millennial generational anxiety–from health issues to the over consumption of media. Fans were quick to react to the relatability of some of the lyrics on This is Why.
Fans hearing paramore say “I’m a magnet for broken people” in Thick Skull pic.twitter.com/wqrqCBGTWT
— paramore TIW reaction in bio (@Zeitwes) February 10, 2023
paramore really said “what if we put the last 3 years in one album”
— adrie rose (@adrierising) February 10, 2023
Others felt the album healed their inner teenager.
Listening to a new paramore album after 6 years pic.twitter.com/LIA5PULbjT
— Cel ☾ | TLOU 🧟♂️ (@6ixGodCel) February 10, 2023
Some rock acts of previous decades have a history of racism, after white artists like Elvis Presley led the charge in cashing in on the silenced creative voices of Black artists. This inevitably resulted in predominantly white fan bases. Paramore, in which all band members are white, have proven themselves as active anti-racism activists since the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. This year, Paramore additionally announced that a portion of their ticket sales would be donated to reproductive rights organizations in wake of the overturn of Roe. v. Wade, which has notably impacted their native Tennessee.
Today, Black Paramore fans celebrate the album release on social media.
Happy Paramore Day to all the Black ppl who love Paramore!
— kenya ✨ (@KenyaTheHunter) February 10, 2023
streaming This Is Why as we speak pic.twitter.com/Cxcm0ZecVT
— anania (@Anania00) February 10, 2023
One Paramore fan explained that Paramore’s lyrics about mental health helped him vocalize his struggles with depression. Communities of color tend to face more barriers when seeking mental health treatment.
if you drive pass me and hear paramore dont cut me off cause im in no mood
The band’s home city of Nashville was ready for their return today, and even a mural of the new album cover was painted in the city’s East Nashville neighborhood.
In Nashville for Paramore’s album release show today 😭 #paramore #hayleywilliams #tayloryork #miserybusiness #afterlaughter #thisiswhy
Paramore performed an album release show in Nashville ahead of today’s release. The band is set to make an appearance with Taylor Swift in Arizona as part of her The Eras Tour. Swift and Williams both began their music careers in Tennessee as high school students, and have maintained a friendship over their many years in the industry. Paramore is set to begin a world tour this summer, and booked countless arena shows in the U.S. If you’re a fan of This is Why, you can find when they’re coming to your city here.