The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Independent Paramore gets fresh start with new ‘Thick Skull’ music video

Photo courtesy of Genius
Album cover of This Is Why by Paramore.

Paramore unexpectedly released a music video for “Thick Skull” on Friday. The song was the closing track for their 2023 Grammy-winning album “This Is Why.”

Directed by Turnstile’s Brendan Yates, the video is a continuation of the band’s “This Is Why” music video. 

With September 2022 marking the beginning of the album cycle with the release of “This Is Why” as a single, the new music video for “Thick Skull” closes a chapter. 

The music video opens with Hayley Williams, the lead singer, with her face covered in red lipstick. It is the same look that appears at the end of the “This Is Why” video.

There is a recurring use of the color red from start to finish as seen through lipstick and a sweater worn by Williams.  

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Looking and singing straight into the camera, the video transitions to the same scenic shots seen in “This Is Why.”

The figures of band members Taylor York and Zac Farro are present in scenes with minimal facial appearances. 

Aside from the noticeable change in haircuts, the video includes the presence of a van, an additional element not seen in “This Is Why.”

A duplication of Williams appears throughout the music video in moments where Williams holds herself in her lap and also when the two versions of the lead singer appear in a van together. 

With shots of the van being driven on an open road, “Thick Skull” ends with the van crashing on the same road with Williams singing inside of it. 

Through previous references and never-before-seen footage, the video showcases metaphorical meaning.

On the same day of the release, Williams shared a Discord message on the video and what it represents.

“Just like a house can be a metaphor, so can a band,” Williams said on Discord. “Paramore has been the vehicle by which me and my friends have learned our toughest lessons. It has kept us close and it has nearly killed us.”

The band’s experiences with hardship and the critiques Williams has faced as a frontwoman are addressed throughout the song.

The lyricism from “Thick Skull” ties to “This Is Why” and statements Williams shared about the role of vulnerability. Paramore as a group has a history with speculations on the status of the band. 

Through changes in their lineup, a hiatus in 2018 and being a band known to occasionally wipe their socials, people often have a lot to say about Paramore.

“This job includes being a mirror or a blank screen for people to project onto and find themselves in,” Williams said. “Being perceived in broad strokes will make you feel like a clown. Goofy and/or terrifying, depending on the day.” 

Vulnerability has been the band’s helping hand in taking risks, letting loose and evolving through obstacles and success.

Roadblocks are an element that is continuously present for the band that “has nearly killed us,” Williams said. 

The ending shots in “Thick Skull” before the crash show the band driving at high speeds that lead to the flipped van and broken glass. 

Paramore is the vehicle, and their hardest moments have been close to what a crash feels like. 

The lyrics, “thick skull never did (nothing for me)/ Same lesson again? (come on, give it to me, give it to me),” suggest the idea of growth.

There is a responsibility to experience life events on a personal level, and as a unit, and it gets repetitive.

With the amount of analyses revealed by fans on the meaning and theme of “Thick Skull,” Williams shares its significance to the band.

As a freshly independent band separate from Atlantic Records, the van that they have crashed is their fresh new start.


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