Though there were glimpses of other influences in their discography, the songs of Paramore tended to be bold, brash, gutsy, loud and largely commercial. But today you have to hear lead singer Hayley Williams take us off the beaten track to a much quieter, more introspective place with the lead single from her somewhat surprise drop album FLOWERS for VASES / descansos
It speaks to an artists ability to command attention when a chorus consisting of a two word phrase repeated sixteen times is compelling, never boring and the antithesis of generic. Usually we might call it lazy writing, but the melody choices (and how incredibly sexy Hayley sounds when she sings it at its lowest) just make for required listening.
Set to a somewhat eerie backing that originally consists of simple guitar picks over a singular monotone note, it is about just what the title might suggest - losing a limb - and what happens if the part of ‘you’ that you’ve lost is in fact a significant other. ‘I guess we were collateral damage, kissing in the crossfire’ she sings, adding ‘don’t let go’ at various points in the background. It matches the tone of the music aesthetically in that it’s clear it’s written from a pretty dark place. It is the aftermath of a war zone - in song.
It’s somewhat of a puzzle, starting out very sparse, but by the end when the drums, piano and additional guitar are added with the interlocking backing vocals, a really full picture is painted. There’s build, but it’s always a restrained piece of art. Muted, but still absolutely powerful. The kind of thing you have to pay attention to, despite it never doing the most to reach out and grab you.
For fans of: Florence & The Machine, musical melancholy, singers who can show you every moment of the spectrum and do it well.