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Paramore is back, funky and frustrated on new single ‘This Is Why’

Members of the band Paramore and music-video director Brendan Yates are silhouetted with coastal hills in the background.

Paramore spent the last few years being influential. Today, they decided to once again be musical. Good decision.

I base that knee-jerk reaction entirely on a new single the band released today: the title track from upcoming album This Is Why, out Feb. 10. It is funky. It is abrasive (lyrically). It is atmospheric and anthemic and quiet and loud. It has a video — directed by Turnstile lead singer Brendan Yates — that starts with Hayley Williams doing a passable Grace Slick, followed by some truly mesmerizingly weird dance moves.

So … a lot going on. But when you’re gone for five years, you’ve got a lot of pent-up stuff to get out.

Others have noted this moves Paramore further down the road of funk-infused pop that was present on 2017 album After Laughter. But for someone who drifted away from the band after 2009’s Brand New Eyes, this is pretty wild — in a good way. And, as Williams pointed out in a release, it almost didn’t happen.

“To be honest, I was so tired of writing lyrics, but Taylor convinced Zac and I both that we should work on this last idea,” she said. “It 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 f****** 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.”

You can (and should) share in the frustration below.