An Open Letter to Paramore's Hayley Williams: You Are My Taylor Swift
I was recently watching an oldish episode of the show New Girl. In the episode, Zooey Deschanel’s character was dumped by her hot doctor boyfriend. She sat on the couch chugging wine and blasting Taylor Swift while her idiot roommate (who had been the cause of her break-up) tried to cheer her up with a dance routine. “I just wanted to listen to Taylor Swift alone,” Zooey blubbered. Taylor Swift is kind of the do-no-wrong pop star that everyone loves. Everyone adores T-Swift, and if you say anything to challenge that, someone in the room will jump down your throat and disgrace you like you broke your grandmother’s fancy wedding China or something. Well, I’m in that two percent of the population that (although I respect what she is doing) is just not affected by Taylor’s brand of pop. It does nothing for me.
Which brings me to Paramore.
I will admit that a mere four months ago, I had no idea who you guys were. The only reason I found about your band was because you reblogged one of my band’s songs on your Tumblr page and a music journalist tweeted the link at me. I had to Google you to find out why this journalist was littering my Twitter feed with exclamations marks. The Google search turned into a YouTube spiral, which later turned into a Tumblr crawl that lasted a few hours. Then, I downloaded your latest self-titled album and played it back to front.
I don’t believe in “guilty pleasure” music. I like what I like. No shame. For me, pop music is supposed to be infectious, bright, and big. It doesn’t always ask questions or challenge dominate structures, but it’s powerful in its own way. Pop music is familiar and fun and holds little pretensions. Pop music wants you to dance happily in a circle and sing along at the top of your lungs while clutching a hairbrush microphone like you're in a John Hughes movie. This is exactly what your latest single “Still Into You” brought out of me. “Ain’t It Fun” had an even dorkier effect on me when I first heard it. You are a true pop star. You have an incredible voice and your live performances are ridiculously energetic and giving. You are a professional. Respect.
It takes guts to be a pop star. It takes even more guts to do the whole pop-punk thing, because when you bridge together two genres that are essentially ideological opposites, people feel entitled to be judgmental. You have to have thick skin and a lot of talent to hack it and you obviously have both. So, please don’t stop making fabulous pop songs. You are to me what T-Swift is to 98 percent of the world.
Mish Way fronts one of our favorite bands, White Lung. She wants Hayley Williams to follow her on Twitter, but you'll do - @myszkaway