The new weekly show is part of BBC Sounds’ Back to Back series, and the first episode — perfectly titled “All Music Is Emotional” — is available to listen to now. In the first episode, Williams discusses her “all music is emotional” theory and reflects on her own emo history by sharing music from some her favorite bands, as well as stories from Paramore’s early days (the soundtrack includes a mix of old and new hits, from the Postal Service, My Chemical Romance, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Wet Leg and Lime Garden).
“Not long ago, people started calling me a ‘veteran’ of my scene and of the music industry,” Williams said in a statement. “It sounds so funny to me because most of the time I still feel like a fan. The serious truth is I have, in fact, grown up in this scene for the last two decades. I guess that’s a pretty long time. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to publicly nerd out about bands and songs that make my favorite subgenre feel like home to me. And while it will be fun to take some trips down memory lane, I’m just as excited, if not more, to play music from new artists I’m discovering all the time.”
Williams added that she designed the show to “feel like a conversation,” and she hopes the kind of interaction it fosters will “feel somewhat reminiscent of the message boards and forums I used to frequent as a teenage scene kid.” Per the show’s website, fans can submit voice notes with band recommendations of their own, or with their own bits of emo nostalgia.
“More than anything, I hope music fans and artists alike will be psyched to hear a highly considered spectrum of ‘Emo’ in all its forms,” Williams said. “And yeah, of course, you’ll hear some Paramore.”
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As of this past January, Paramore were back in the studio working on their first album since 2017’s After Laughter. The LP will also be the first that Williams, Zac Farro, and Taylor York have started and finished together as a trio (Farro came in halfway through the making of After Laughter).
While Williams told Rolling Stone at the time that the new LP was inspired by some of her earliest influences, she said the group wasn’t necessarily plotting a “comeback ‘emo’ record.” She continued: “The music we were first excited by wasn’t exactly the kind of music we went on to make. Our output has always been all over the place and with this project, it’s not that different. We’re still in the thick of it but some things have remained consistent from the start. 1) More emphasis back on the guitar, and 2) Zac should go as Animal as he wants with drum takes.”