Paramore returns with first single in 5 years — ‘This Is Why’

Paramore+released+This+Is+Why%2C+their+first+single+in+five+years%2C+on+Sept.+28.

Photo courtesy of Pitchfork

Paramore released “This Is Why,” their first single in five years, on Sept. 28.

Tori Coker, Content Editor

Alternative rock band Paramore returned with their first single in five years on Wednesday, Sept. 28 — a fiery track titled, “This Is Why.”

Their first follow up to 2017’s new wave inspired “After Laughter” once again subverts expectations for where the band would look next for influences. Though “This Is Why” comes with a heavier sound than their previous record boasted, the trio still refuses to bend to any critics who try to back them into a corner with their early 2000’s sound.

Rather, they’ve come up with an all new formula to redefine themselves yet again — this time with nods to icons of the noughties indie rock scene.

“It felt so urgent,” frontwoman Hayley Williams told The Guardian of drawing inspiration from dance-punk of yesteryear. “Important, a little bit cocky. Bloc Party, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Rapture, Glassjaw – those are characters, people that were larger-than-life indie superstars.”

The track invites listeners in with riffs that pack a sharp bite, jutting out against a rhythmic bass that introduces 70’s grooves into the mix. Williams’s gentle vocals hover over the erratic instrumental like an outstretched leg dangling above a cliff, scattering tongue-in-cheek lyrics suggesting to either “shove” or “shout” a challenged point of view before the pre-chorus assumes the conclusion that those who harbor hate can, “keep it to [themselves.]”

The chorus erupts with anthemic raucousness, incorporating gang vocals that transport the track to a place where Williams is already joined in song with an equally angry crowd — bracing listeners for what they can expect come the band’s return to the stage this fall. The guitars snarl with heightened frenzy above punchy drums, adding conviction to the contempt expressed with every lyric.

“This is why I don’t leave the house,” the hook chanted, “you say the coast is clear, but you won’t catch me out.”

Williams told The Guardian that the song echoes her own pandemic- and politic-borne restlessness and paranoia, begging for release after building up over the past several years.

“I look at the internet, the news, and it feels like [we’re in] Lord of the Flies,” she said in The Guardian piece. “When I was writing the lyrics, I was like, this social experiment – the internet – has been going wrong since day one. It exposes and exploits the general population’s blatant disregard for nuance.”

Paramore — also made up of guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro — accompanied the release of this track with a music video directed by Turnstile’s Brendon Yates. The visual shows the band performing their hearts out under the judgmental gaze of onlookers, an extension of the gripe the song takes with those who lack an appreciation for nuance.

The band has delivered this angered anthem at a time where fans are hungry for something to both let loose and raise their finger along to. With elements of everything that makes this band great — from Williams’ electrifying vocals and gutsy lyricism to York’s and Farro’s inimitable chemistry providing groove and grit to every note — this track is a stunning amalgamation incorporating the energy fans know and love, along with a healthy appetite for something radically, refreshingly new.

Along with the single and video came the band’s announcement of their upcoming sixth album — also titled “This Is Why” — due for release on Feb. 10, 2023. For more information on this release and the ongoing fall tour, visit paramore.net.