“26” is about not losing hope and staying a dreamer. It is a loose conceptual opposite to Paramore’s hit single “Brick by Boring Brick” from Brand New Eyes (2009), where Hayley criticised dreamers with no grounding in reality. As she has gotten older (now aged 28, as of the album’s release) she has become the person she sang about.
Hayley explained this idea of conversing with a younger version of yourself in the band’s interview with Zane Lowe (see below). She also stated in a live acoustic venue that she feels this song is the most transparent of the album; it’s the one song that its emotions aren’t covered by the poppy and dancy melody.
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