Music

Everyone Is Freaking Out Over Hayley Williams’ First Solo Single, ‘Simmer’

"I will be taking a 6 month sabbatical to work on my thesis on the lyricism and symbolism of Hayley Williams’ 'Simmer'".

Hayley Williams photo

Paramore front-woman Hayley Williams has launched her debut solo album today with ‘Simmer’, a moody, dark-synth pop song about taming resentment and anger about a shitty relationship. Long-teased, fans are freaking out — and with good reason, as the song’s really, really good.

Williams has released music outside of Paramore for the past decade, but barring a song for the 2009 Jennifer’s Body soundtrack, only as a featured vocalist. The biggest track of the bunch is B.O.B.’s 2010 hit ‘Airplanes’, though she’s also worked with the likes of CHVRCHES, American Football, Zedd and Weezer.

‘Simmer’ is the lead single off her debut solo album PETALS FOR ARMOUR, out May 8, and was produced by Paramore’s Taylor York. In a statement accompanying the announcement, Williams promised Paramore wasn’t going anywhere, but that she wants to create a solo project that allowed her hands to get “a little dirtier” when it came to instrumentation.”

“I’m so ready and so incredibly humbled to get to share this project,” she wrote. “Making it was a scary, empowering experience. Some of my proudest moments as a lyricist happened while writing PETALS FOR ARMOR. And I was able to get my hands a little dirtier than usual when it came to instrumentation. I’m in a band with my favourite musicians so I never really feel the need to step into a role as a player when it comes to Paramore records.”

“This project, however, benefited from a little bit of musical naïveté and rawness and so I experimented quite a bit more. I made this with some of the closest people to me. Their respective talents really shine bright throughout the record.

I like to think we all make each other better and the result is something that sounds and FEELS exactly as I’d hoped it would. Now that it’s time to put it all out there, I can finally exhale. I’m excited to let people in to experience a different side of myself that I’ve only very recently become familiar with.”

‘Simmer’ comes with a music video, directed by Warren Fu (who was also behind the camera for Paramore’s video for ‘Rose-Colored Boy’). In it, Williams runs naked through a forest away from a monstrous red light of rage. She then encases her naked body in clay while singing “wrap yourself in petals as armor”, and fights against a shadowy mirror of herself.

Paramore fans, of course, are busy analysing the song and its video, which are seemingly about her relationship with ex-husband and New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert.

Mostly, they’re amazed that Williams swears in the song.

Watch the music video below. In other news that will make your inner pop-punk teenage heart sing, All Time Low has released a new song, and My Chemical Romance seem to be dropping something new very soon.