Paramore, All Grown Up

Just like all us emo kids, Paramore grew up into alt pop loving millennial weirdos. 

Last week, power pop trio Paramore dropped “Hard Times,” the first single off their upcoming album After Laughter. 

The first new music heard from the band since 2013, “Hard Times” is a seriously refreshing and contemporary new wave pop jam that breaks from the band’s traditional Fueled by Ramen emo roots, feeling much more present day Carly Rae Jepsen than classically Hot Topic.

Paramore’s still existential at heart though, with “Hard Times” sporting existential lyrics like “All that I want is to wake up fine / To tell me that I’m alright, that I ain’t gonna die/ All that I want is a hole in the ground / You can tell me when it’s alright for me to come out.”

Paramore effectively repackaged emo on their latest track, dressing up existentialism in dreamy visuals and 80s synth pop vibes. Much like all #FormerEmoKids, Paramore’s found new, much lighter, ways of letting out all those dark streams of consciousness we used to scribble into our hidden journals.

In 2007, Paramore not only granted me the female representation I desperately sought in the pop punk and emo music I consumed as a mall frequenting middle schooler, they also prompted my first trip to Hot Topic in 2007. This awkward journey entailed my suburban mother, my Gap wearing elementary school aged sister, a dimly lit Hot Topic and a magenta Paramore tee I needed to get my hands on.

Sure, Paramore’s been through numerous lineup changes throughout their thirteen year long run, the only constant being front woman Hayley Williams, but they’ve never stopped producing infectious pop rock songs and I never stopped appreciating them and their perfectly crafted tracks.

I’ve taken for granted that Paramore’s grown with me. We both ditched the tacky red skinny jeans and gothic spike belts shortly after 2009. Over the last five years we shed our black uniforms for dreamy hues of pinks, most recently embracing a modern art student aesthetic, opting to portray our forever emo selves through attitude and art and less through clothing.

Not only has the trio’s image and branding organically evolved, undergoing the same transformation that many of us OG emos underwent during the time between middle school and young adulthood, their music’s changed too. Paramore’s matured and changed a ton since their debut All We Know Is Falling’s power punk/screamo hyrbid vibes (yeah, I’m talking about the track “My Heart”).


I mean, all emo kids have to grow up someday  and “Hard Times” is a perfect reflection of the band’s maturation clothed in perfected vocals, pastel hues and synth pop beats.

Listen to some of my favorite Paramore songs from each of their album’s, chronicling their emo evolution, below!


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