Paramore are back with their first new album in four years, After Laughter. The follow-up to their self-titled album is out May 12 on Fueled By Ramen. Watch the new video for “Hard Times” below. The Andrew Joffe-directed clip, in which Hayley Williams crashes into a video set bedecked in hand-drawn squiggles, is styled after the album art, which you can see below with the tracklist. Produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen and Paramore’s Taylor York, After Laughter marks the return of drummer Zac Farro, who quit the band in 2010 along with his brother and bassist Jeremy. Though it was rumored that Zac’s contribution would be limited to drums, the band signaled his full return via Instagram with “I’m Back” t-shirts.
Last year, staring down a deep depression amid more personnel changes in a band plagued by them — and questioning herself under the hefty burdens of adulthood — Ms. Williams opted for “a blank slate,” she said, her currently white-blond locks further minimized under a beanie.
“You can run on the fumes of being a teenager for as long as you want, but eventually life hits you really hard,” Ms. Williams, a mighty presence who barely cracks five feet, explained last month, speaking for the first time about the tumultuous period since Paramore last released an album, in 2013. “I didn’t even know if we were going to make another record,” she said. “There was a moment when I didn’t even want it to happen. Then it was like, I want it to happen, but I don’t know how we’re going to do it.”
Paramore, somehow, pulled it off again. On May 12, the band will release “After Laughter,” its fifth LP, introducing another lineup — each Paramore album has featured a different combination of members around Ms. Williams — and, more notably, a new sound. Instead of the meaty, distorted power chords and hyperactive riffs of its adolescence, Paramore has dipped into cleaner, more rhythmic and synth-kissed textures of the ’70s and ’80s, owing to recent obsessions with Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Cyndi Lauper and Blondie.