After a decade that saw Paramore at odds with each other that then led to the biggest song of their career in the aftermath of the squabble, they’re back and ready to laugh at themselves. Paramore have announced After Laughter, their first new album since 2013, is out May 12. With it comes “Hard Times,” the band’s first single since “Ain’t It Fun.” For some context: Back in 2010, Paramore split down the middle when brothers and founding members Josh and Zac Farro quit the band, accusing lead singer Hayley Williams of using the band as a pawn for solo fame. (They also claimed Williams was making bank while the rest of the band was getting stiffed.) It sparked a war of words they waged for years — they even lost bassist Jeremy Davis along the way — until recently, when Zac Farro returned to his post as Paramore’s drummer.
Paramore has now risen from emo-pop’s ashes as a trifecta of Williams, Zac Farro, and guitarist Taylor York — the present lineup that has come full circle to make the band’s fifth album. And much as “Hard Times” and its splashy video might be self-parody — it’s a bright and bubbly ’80s time capsule encouraging optimism over defeat — the message is equally macro: These are hard times for the world; we can all either choose to sink to the bottom and drown or fight for some air. At least Paramore is still breathing.