Music Lists

6 2000s Rock Songs That Still Give Us Life

Here are a few times that artists took a song and absolutely ate it alive.

We all remember what emotional state we were in when we heard Hayley Williams belt her heart out on "All I Wanted."

The track's grinding guitars embellish an already forceful plea for companionship, but when the band cuts out, all that can be heard is Williams's crackling pipes: "I'll beg you nice from my knees / I could follow you to the beginning and just to relive the start."

Asking for someone's companionship is already a futile act; as intoxicating as young love is, it feels pathetic to have to ask for such a basic human necessity, to be stuck in codependency. As Williams's soaring vocals seep into a scream at the track's bridge, that layered frustration is palpable just from the sound of her voice.

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New Releases

Hayley Williams Enlists boygenius for New Song “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris”

Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker join the Paramore vocalist.

Hayley Williams' full-length debut, Petals for Armor, isn't out until May, but the Paramore vocalist has already shared quite a bit of the highly-anticipated project.

She shared five songs earlier this year, and has blessed our social distancing playlists with another tune today. "Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris" features backup vocals from boygenius, the fabulous indie-folk trio composed of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker. Written by Williams and Paramore bandmate Taylor York, "Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris" further deviates from their pop-punk origins. A jazzy drum beat and rhythmic bassline drive the track, as sweeping strings add a cinematic touch.

"Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris" turns the idea of beauty standards on its head. "I have seen your body / And I have seen your beauty / They are separate things / Pretty pretty things," Williams sings in its opening lines, likening herself to her own blooming garden. The chorus offers a useful metaphor—"Roses show no concern for colors of a Violet"—to assure us that one woman's beauty doesn't detract from that of another, and both can have their place to blossom. "Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris" is a subtle declaration of confidence, of appreciating one's own beauty as it coexists with others.

Listen below.

Hayley Williams - Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris [Official Audio]

Music Lists

A Brief Intro to Emo: 10 Essential Albums

Want to get into rock's most misunderstood subgenre? Here's where to start.

Has there ever been a style of music as misunderstood as emo?

Though rock's angstiest subgenre might get a bad reputation, there's a lot of history behind it—as well as great albums. Before bands like Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, and Paramore boomed in the mid-2000s, emo fire rose to prominence from Washington, D.C.'s hardcore punk movement in the '80s. It's been a long road to get emo where it is today, but the genre wouldn't be what it is without the many bands who passed the torch over the years. There are many great albums to dive into, many of which timestamp Midwest emo's massive spike in popularity in the '90s.

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Hayley Williams Is Dropping Solo Music Soon

The Paramore front woman has been teasing new music.

Have you checked in on your Paramore-loving friends lately?

The Para-hive has been in a bit of a tizzy lately, as the band's frontwoman, Hayley Williams, teases something new on the horizon. But this project won't be a follow up to the band's fantastic 2017 album, After Laughter; rather, it'll be a solo endeavor, as Williams teased late last year. "I'm putting out some music next year," she wrote. "With the help of some of my closest friends, I made something I'm going to call my own. It's a really special project and you'll get a taste of it in January."

According to another tweet Williams shared yesterday, the project seems to be called Petals for Armor. She posted a very short video of nighttime forest footage that included no music, but you can hear the singer's heavy breathing. The final shot reads the date "1.22.2020."

Williams has also been keeping up an Instagram account for the project since October, where she's been posting various microscopic shots of flower petals. Posters promoting the project, featuring photos of Williams herself, have also been spotted.

Considering After Laughter was such a departure from Paramore's pop-punk roots, it's to be expected that Petals for Armor will mark a new sound for Williams. Considering her track record for great albums, we're stoked to hear what's next.

Rising Star

Do you want to be one of those girls who never die?

Emily Bell & The Talkbacks promise immortality on "Girls Who Never Die"

Eryn Brooke/Big Picture Media

Austin is chill. Spoon, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Explosions in the fucking Sky. Underneath all that is something cacophonic in the traditional sense, the kind of real rawk in between Paramore and Cage the Elephant. Something that singer, songwriter and "alt-rock artist" Emily Bell regularly brings to the hip denizens of the People's Republic of Austin, surfing into the city from L.A. earlier this decade. Her first album came out in 2013 and was called In Technicolor. Some website called The Firenote raved: "full of sass and attitude."

Now, Bell is back with an EP out next month and a backing band called the Talkbacks. In a promotional video, she explains that the name of the band comes from something that she feels that women of her demographic do a lot of. Her latest single, which we're premiering here at Popdust, is called "Girls Who Never Die." It's a real garage thumper; imagine a cut from the last Orwells record rewritten in blood-red lipstick.

Take a listen:

The title of Bell's upcoming EP, KALI, appropriates the name of a Hindu deity who is known as a destroyer, primarily of evil forces. In a press release, Bell's team writes: "Like its moniker suggests, it's a boldly expressive release." Another of the EP's cuts, "Goddess Of Destruction" was released earlier as a single, more overly plays with this theme.

Earlier this month, the first single from the EP, "Can't Talk Back" was released with a music video directed by Bryan Poyser, an Austin movieman most well-known for a romantic comedy called Love and Air Sex (2013) which starred Zach Cregger and now-Twin Peaks star Sara Paxton.

His video for "Can't Talk Back" is a crisp piece of work, portraying Bell as quarterback to a gang of women football players who rush onto the field and complicate matters for a football coach. It features a member of the Austin Radiers, an all female full tackle football team from Austin. Empowerment on the sports field, like an Amy Schumer sketch cooked up in a Texas barbecue, its good stuff.

Watch below:

KALI comes out April 21st. Preorder now.


Premiere–MORI's "Do You Wanna Hurt Me" Is The Alt-Rock Anthem You Need

With a powerful pop sound and back to basics music video, Mori's new track rocks hard! Check out the dope video here.

"Do You Wanna Hurt Me," the first track off MORI's Better For You EP, has been described as "a thumping call to arms for a relationship on the brink of collapse, as relatable as it is danceable."

The video is a stripped-down, back to basics performance of the track featuring lead singer Mori Einsidler performing with her band, playing a badass white Gibson SG, while polychromatic lights strobe in the background. It is both rare and refreshing to see a music video that really emphasizes performance over spectacle in 2016, and that's exactly what this video does.

Check out this dope video for Mori's "Do You Wanna Hurt Me" exclusive on Popdust!

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MORI delivers punchy, hook-laden alternative rock/pop you can (and should) scream along to in the car. Fronted by lead singer, songwriter & guitarist Mori Einsidler, the band took shape in the winter of 2014 with the addition of Jake Goldin on lead guitar, Adam Downer on bass and vocals, and Stephen Ranellone on drums. MORI crafts songs that ache and burst, recalling the ear candy of indie-pop duo Tegan & Sara packed with the voltage of alt-rock overlords Paramore and Brand New.

This year has been a breakout one for MORI, with solo and full band tours across the Northeast, a stint at Brooklyn's Northside Festival, the release of the Better For You EP in March, and sold out shows in NYC. The band has been in the studio with co-producer Jon Markson (Such Gold), and fans can expect more new music in the coming months.

For more of MORI, check out Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud!

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