Sam Recommends: “Hard Times” by Paramore

I was never a huge fan of Paramore. Not even in high school, when their earliest releases were solidifying themselves as one of the most iconic pop punk bands in that genre’s heyday.

In the decade that has lapsed since those days, I can’t say that much has changed between me and Paramore. I’ve never purchased one of their albums or gone to one of their concerts. But what I have done is become obsessed with one of their most recently released singles, “Hard Times,” from their 2017 album After Laughter. 

I was still relatively new to Los Angeles the first time I heard the song. A friend played the music video for our group after an epic night out that included a lot of alcohol and a trip to Jumbo’s Clown Room. I couldn’t deny that — despite the sadness conveyed in the lyrics — the song was catchy as hell. The music is peppy and upbeat, and the visuals in the music video are just as dazzling. It’s the musical embodiment of a dark cloud’s silver lining. Except this silver lining is actually a technicolor rainbow that pops and glimmers like lightning.

Since then, “Hard Times” has become one of my standard go-to tracks on bad days when I need catharsis in the form of musical commiseration. I hope it can bring you some joy, light, and color on your own dark days.

(Song recommendation by Samantha Lamph/Len)

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