Fake Happy

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"Fake Happy"
Single by Paramore
from the album After Laughter
ReleasedAugust 29, 2017 (2017-08-29)
FormatDigital download
LabelFueled by Ramen
Paramore singles chronology
"Told You So"
"Fake Happy"
"Rose-Colored Boy"
Music video
"Fake Happy" on YouTube

"Fake Happy" is a song by American rock band Paramore. It was released on August 29, 2017 through Fueled by Ramen as the third single off their fifth studio album After Laughter (2017).[1] Written by lead vocalist Hayley Williams and guitarist Taylor York and produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen and York, the song was recorded in the band's hometown, Nashville, Tennessee.[2]


Discussing the inspiration behind the song, Williams stated: "Well, I mean, the title is pretty self-explanatory. I think there's a lot of time we go out or we do things and we don't feel the way that we project, you know, that we wanna look like we feel..."[3] In a Beats 1 interview with Zane Lowe, Williams also said regarding the song: "I hate phoniness. It's not fun to be around, it's not fun to do yourself. But then there are these moments in your life where you're professional and you have to have grace with yourself, you have to have grace with other people and work hard, but it's that self-preservation thing."[4]


Stylistically, "Fake Happy" has been labeled as new wave[5] and pop rock.[6] According to NPR, "Fake Happy" is "a song that directly asserts a collective hopelessness with "We're all so fake happy / And I know fake happy," later complicating the emotion with the embarrassment not often explored in depression dialogue, the shame of feeling bad and the shame of feeling bad for feeling bad: "Don't ask me how I've been / Don't make me play pretend.""[7] The song begins with "a hushed acoustic intro, with Williams' voice filtered through a kind of telephone effect," which then transforms with "a simple and effective synth riff" into an "ambitious, funky anthem about everyone masking their sadness."[8][9] Brice Ezell of Consequence of Sound noted that while the song contains "bouncy synths" and a "sugary" hook, it "still echoes the angsty band that made Riot!."[8] Similarly, Spin's Brad Nelson said the song's chorus "opens up a wormhole in the record, through which the band step and emerge sounding uncannily like the one that made 2009's Brand New Eyes."[10]

Release and live performances[edit]

"Fake Happy" was sent to alternative radio on August 29, 2017, serving as After Laughter's third single.[1] The band had previously released a radio edit of the song on June 2, 2017, cutting the song's intro.[11][failed verification] The song was performed live for the first time on June 15, 2017 at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, as part of the band's After Laughter tour.[12] The band also performed the song at Good Morning America on August 25, 2017 along with four other tracks from After Laughter, where it was announced as the latest single from the album.[13][14]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Fake Happy" was released on November 17, 2017. It was directed by the band's drummer Zac Farro, and features Hayley Williams in a sequined bodysuit strolling through New York City, full of crowds with animated upside-down smiley faces pasted on their faces.[15][16]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[17]

  1. "Fake Happy" – 3:55

Radio edit[11]

  1. "Fake Happy" (Edit) – 3:16


Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[18]


Chart (2017) Peak
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[19] 33


  1. ^ a b "Future Releases on Alternative Radio Stations". allaccess.com. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  2. ^ "Paramore Ready New LP 'After Laughter,' Drop First Single 'Hard Times'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  3. ^ "Paramore - Fake Happy (Live GMA 2017) HD". YouTube. August 25, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  4. ^ "Paramore and Zane Lowe on Beats 1 [Part 2 Interview]". YouTube. May 11, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  5. ^ "Album Review: Paramore - 'After Laughter' - Killyourstereo.com". Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  6. ^ "Watch Paramore Play An After Laughter Mini-Concert On GMA". August 25, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  7. ^ Sherman, Mariah (May 20, 2017). "Paramore's 'After Laughter' Is Something New, Built From Pieces Of The Past". NPR. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Ezell, Brice (May 16, 2017). "Paramore – After Laughter". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  9. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (May 12, 2017). "'After Laughter' review: Paramore delivers potential pop hits". Newsday. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  10. ^ Nelson, Brad (May 12, 2017). "Paramore's Excellent After Laughter Is All Emo Bleakness Under Its New Wave Brightness". Spin. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Fake Happy (Edit) - Single by Paramore on Apple Music". Apple Music. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  12. ^ "Paramore Concert Setlist at Olympia Theatre, Dublin on June 15, 2017". setlist.fm. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  13. ^ Gracie, Bianca (August 25, 2017). "Paramore Bring 'Hard Times' To 'Good Morning America': Watch Their Bubbly Performance". Fuse. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  14. ^ "Paramore jams out to their hit song 'Fake Happy' live on 'GMA'". ABC News. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  15. ^ Darville, Jordan (November 17, 2017). "Watch Hayley Williams search for sincerity in Paramore's "Fake Happy" music video". The Fader. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  16. ^ yelyahwilliams (November 17, 2017). "Hayley from Paramore (@yelyahwilliams)". Instagram. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  17. ^ "Fake Happy: Paramore". Amazon. May 12, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  18. ^ After Laughter (Media notes). Paramore. Fueled by Ramen. 2017.CS1 maint: others (link)
  19. ^ "Paramore Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 29, 2017.

External links[edit]