Ethereal, spectral and deeply captivating are just some of the adjectives worthy enough to describe the first single and accompanying music video off of Hayley Williams secretive debut solo album Petals for Armor due to be released on the 8th of May 2020.
For the past few months the news surrounding Hayley Williams’ return to the studio as a soloist has caused massive buzz across the globe for Paramore fans, especially after Williams left her fandom on tender hooks with the release of her featured spot on American Football’s classically tragic emo-rock ballad ‘Uncomfortably Numb’ in January 2019.
Thankfully our prayers for new material have been answered in the form of ‘Simmer’ which harbours some surprisingly darker aesthetics than we are typically accustomed to from the Mississippi powerhouse; the track’s nostalgia inducing persona harkens back to the likes of Twilight era Blue Foundation with its Alternative Electronica Indie Rock sensibility, supported by a storyline towing the line between resentment, determination, fear and innocence in what can only be described as an underlying tension and aggressive tendencies cradled in Hayley’s angelic vocal delivery.
The music videos overreaching story arch sees a naked Williams sprinting in the woods pursued by a red mist until embracing and smearing the earth’s offerings all over herself in an abandoned farmhouse to finally defeat a figure that arose from the mist; only to reveal she knocked-out the original version of herself, when her own facade has turned feral and demented as she peers down at her innocent reflection.
The stunning visuals created by Williams, Warren Fu and Lindsay Byrnes truly keeps viewers on their toes due to its subtle yet powerful visual storytelling, which really makes you wonder how the pieces all fit together in terms of the entire packages original inspiration in relation to the song ‘Simmer’ itself. Could aspects of the storyline be referring to Williams talking herself off of the edge of immoral acts? Facing the brutal nature of reality only to turn and run from accepting her own internal darkness? Could Williams be speaking from a stance of working through unknown trauma or her own struggles with mental health? The possibilities are endless in regards to the inspiration surrounding its lyrical content that we will probably never be fully clued in to, but it’s undeniably how deep Hayley is willing to dive for her art and her self expression, which is a truly beautiful venture to witness.