Last week, Paramore revealed that they would be releasing a new version of “Hate To See Your Heart Break” featuring Joy Williams. The solo version of the song first appeared on Paramore’s self-titled 4th album, released in April 2013; this new version appears on the deluxe re-release coming out tonight.
Joy was previously in the band The Civil Wars, and is a longtime friend of front woman Hayley Williams. (They are not related despite having the same surname.) The duo recording their vocals over the original track in Santa Monica, CA about a week after Paramore finished the Monumentour with Fall Out Boy. They also recorded a music video for the ballad, showing both Hayley and Joy in the studio together.
Hayley was just 12 when she met Joy, who was a few years older. They’ve been friends ever since, and have often looked to each other for musical inspiration. For both of them, singing together on “Hate To See Your Heart Break” felt natural. Hayley recently told NPR about the making of and meaning behind the song:
[Taylor York and I] were both feeling a little melancholy. We just sort of meshed each of our individual ideas and they fit together perfectly. As far as the old school vibe of it, I think down deep I had been dying to write a song like this for a long time. What I love about ‘Heartbreak’ in particular is that both vocal melodies are strong enough to be leads but they sort of act as harmonies to each other.
It was never meant as romantic song between lovers but always a song to a friend. Now it’s even more special. I think of it as an ode to sisterhood. Close friendship between women who share their stories with each other and who lift each other up and understand one another.
Joy spoke about recording the video:
[We were] in the room that Stevie Nicks personally decorated for Fleetwood Mac’s recording of their double album ‘Tusk.’ I felt like some of the mystic spirit of Stevie is still in the walls there. That’s a good energy to have in a room, especially with two women recording like we were. It felt like the perfect place to let down, light candles, take off our shoes and just be. We’d take breaks, make hot tea in the studio kitchen, and get lost in conversation before we realized we should probably get back to work.
“Hate To See Your Heart Break” turned it great, and while this is the first collaboration for Paramore as a full band, it is beautifully done and inspired. It is included on Paramore’s new deluxe re-issue, Paramore: Self-Titled Deluxe. The album comes out later tonight and also includes all of the record’s original 17 songs, plus three b-sides and 8 live recordings.
Be sure to read the full interview at NPR to learn more about making “Hate To See Your Heart Break.”