Hayley Williams has done some solo work over the years, but mostly hasn’t separated much from the Paramore bubble. It seems the vocals icon has come to a point where she’s ready to show the world who she is on her own as an artist. On her 31st birthday last December, Williams announced she would be releasing solo music in 2020. The first taste of Hayley Williams’ debut solo album, entitled Petals for Armor, is the single track “Simmer,” accompanied by a creatively dark-themed music video.
The song is very cool; it starts with a percussive vocal sound effects that compliment the intro drum track. Hayley’s voice stays decently quiet and controlled through the entire song, a stark difference from the boisterous soprano licks we’re used to coming from that strong, tiny diaphragm. Between the vocals, instrumentation and melodies, ‘Simmer’ carries somewhat of a Tegan and Sara inspired alt-J hybrid vibe. Williams’ lyricism has always been brilliantly poetic, but with this song she brings a new level of maturity, as in the bars, “…if my child needed protection from a fucker like that man, I’d sooner gut him ’cause nothing cuts like a mother.”
Spooky scenes of Williams running nude under the moonlight, escaping a cloaked entity, make for a scary and cinematic music video. The artistry is unsurprising, coming from this notoriously creative mind. The eery “Simmer” video is incredibly empowering. Big expectations follow the exceptional preview of Hayley Williams’ debut solo project, Petals for Armor.