Paramore triumphantly returned about a year ago now with 80’s pop-tinged classic After Laughter. Many people thought they would never make it, but I feel that an important factor in their return was the return of founding drummer Zac Farro, who added an organic touch to the wonderful summery sound of the album. But Farro’s return to Paramore didn’t mean he’d neglect his solo project, HalfNoise, it turns out. Despite the fact that Paramore have been rigorously touring the globe for the past year, he has still found time to record this, his newest EP. But has touring burnt him out, or inspired him? This EP will tell.
It’s clear to see that the experience of After Laughter has at least influenced the sound of this EP. It is a dreamy 80’s soundscape, punctuated by soft vocals and mellow guitars. But this is a different kind of sound- something slower and more ambient. Where After Laughter would get you off your feet and onto the dancefloor, Flowerss takes you far away- to somewhere brighter and more relaxing.
The album kicks off with the title track and lead single, which sounds something like Wolf Alice covering a Nirvana song, with some added ambient synthesisers. It’s undoubtedly the best song on the EP, but if you think the rest of the EP is going to be a letdown, then you’d be wrong. In particular, ‘Always Young’ and ‘Every Single Time’ seem like they’ve been picked straight out of the 80’s- everything is punctuated by a beautiful mellow guitar sound to a backdrop of light, airy synths, making this the perfect album to relax to.
In conclusion, this seems like the perfect flipside to After Laughter’s dreamy charm. It takes all the sounds of the album, and the subverts them, transforming them from a dancey sound into ambient synthpop. As summer approaches, and the weather gets warmer, this seems like the perfect soundtrack- you can sit back, listen, and enjoy the warmth of both the summer sun, and the beautiful sound Zac Farro has crafted.
Best songs: Always Young, Flowerss