Paramore album cover, photo courtesy of billboard and used under Fair Use.

Paramore released their first record in the past four years, named “After Laughter.” The band has had many bumps in the road, like losing their drummer Zac Farro and his brother Josh in 2010, and the loss of the lead bassist, Jeremy Davis, in 2015. Zac returned to the band in 2016, leading Paramore to start putting together After Laughter.

The feel to this album is different than the music that Paramore has been known for. Its opening song “Hard Times” is about the lead singer, Hayley Williams depression in 2016. The song addresses growing up and getting past “rock bottom”. “Caught in the middle,” number nine on the tracklist, also confronts the concept of getting older, with the inspiration of the song being that Hayley has basically grown up in the band, starting out as a rosy-cheeked 15-year-old girl and now leading up to her thirties.

Taylor York, the lead guitarist and partial songwriter in the band, says that in the making of the record involved a lot of darkness. “The way I got away was going to the beach in Florida. I drove seven hours. Unfortunately, I came back for depressed than I left,” York said in an interview with Genius.

The eleventh song on the album, “No Friend” is the first song in Paramore history to not promote Hayley Williams as the lead vocalist. The lead vocalist in this track, Aaron Weiss, discusses the band’s history and her own point of view about being considered an idol to fans in the punk/emo scene. She appreciates the positivity, but she believes she is much different than how fans may see her.

Within her music, such as “No Friend,”  listeners can see how she tries to depict that the musician-fan relationship is different than it should be. The album closes with “Tell me How,” with a smoother tone and slower beat, talking about losing friends, referring to previous band members.

The leading verse, “I can’t call you a stranger / But I can’t call you / I know you think/that I erased you / You may hate me, but I can’t hate you / And I won’t replace you” depicts the singer’s feelings towards leaving members. The song ends with the line “I can still believe,” showing optimism, and that the Paramore band has hope, for a shining bright future and nothing but good vibes.