This Is Why

This Is Why

Few rock bands this side of Y2K have committed themselves to forward motion quite like Paramore. But in order to summon the aggression of their sixth full-length, the Tennessee outfit needed to look back—to draw on some of the same urgency that defined them early on, when they were teenaged upstarts slinging pop punk on the Warped Tour. “I think that's why this was a hard record to make,” Hayley Williams tells Apple Music of This Is Why. “Because how do you do that without putting the car in reverse completely?” In the neon wake of 2017’s After Laughter—an unabashed pop record—guitarist Taylor York says he found himself “really craving rock”. Add to that a combination of global pandemic, social unrest, apocalyptic weather and war, and you have what feels like a suitable backdrop (if not cause) for music with edges. “I think figuring out a smarter way to make something aggressive isn't just turning up the distortion,” York says. “That’s where there was a lot of tension, us trying to collectively figure out what that looks like and can all three of us really get behind it and feel represented. It was really difficult sometimes, but when we listened back at the end, we were like, ‘Sick.’” What that looks like is a set of spiky but highly listenable (and often danceable) post-punk that draws influence from early-2000s revivalists like Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bloc Party, The Rapture, Franz Ferdinand and Hot Hot Heat. Throughout, Williams offers relatable glimpses of what it’s been like to live through the last few years, whether it’s feelings of anxiety (the title cut), outrage (“The News”) or atrophy (“C’est Comme Ça”). “I got to yell a lot on this record, and I was afraid of that, because I’ve been treating my voice so kindly and now I’m fucking smashing it to bits,” she says. “We finished the first day in the studio and listened back to the music and we were like, ‘Who is this?’ It simultaneously sounds like everything we've ever loved and nothing that we've ever done before ourselves. To me, that's always a great sign, because there's not many posts along the way that tell you where to go. You're just raw-dogging it. Into the abyss.”

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