Hayley Williams single 'Simmer' from solo debut LP 'Petals for Armor' is out, video sees singer face her demon
The video, inspired by horror themes, has Williams running naked (hidden by darkness) for her life from an unknown entity. Reminiscent of early gore flicks, like the 'Jason X' and 'Halloween' films, the singer is bewildered and afraid as she runs through a forest, leading to a surprise ending
On January 22 alternative pop-rock singer Hayley Williams, known by many fans as the lead singer of Paramore, revealed the release date of her debut solo LP, 'Petals for Armor', due on May 8. Williams also released the album's lead single titled 'Simmer' January 22 along with its music video directed by Warren Fu.
The song was written by Williams and her Paramore bandmates, guitarist Taylor York (who also produced the clip) and touring member Joey Howard, with Fu and creative director Lindsey Byrnes helming the video. The video, inspired by horror themes, has Williams running naked (hidden by darkness) for her life from an unknown entity. Reminiscent of early gore flicks, like the 'Jason X' and 'Halloween' films, the singer is bewildered and afraid as she runs through a forest, eventually leading to a surprise ending.
The music score garbs a darker, mysterious tone, smoothly placed over softer music than we are used to from Hayley Williams and Paramore. Opening with some subtle beatboxing it leads to grooves of pulsating instrumentals over a background of atmospheric synth with Williams' vocals playing around trippy high and low note structures. The singer varies in rhythms and vocal range, with catchy stops and starts and it forms a threatening shape over driving funk-esque offbeats. Her vocals shine particularly with 'Simmer' as it clearly suggests Williams moving towards experimental ideas and becoming more theatrical in her style. Featuring vocals with many a layer of the singer's voice applied over each other and coupled with the mysterious video, 'Simmer' portrays its horror theme intuitively.
After scampering across a scene of bones, the video eventually leads to a large house in the woods, abandoned of course, and the story begins to unravel clues as to who or what is chasing her. Eventually, we find an arbitrary small room with candles and a bowl of clay-like paste. An obscure character in a mask arrives in the house and Williams sees it fit to cover herself in the paste and begin fighting back against her threatening monster. Once the villainous being is defeated, she removes the mask only to find it was herself in the strange costume, perhaps signifying an unaware Williams to her own beast-like nature.
According to Rolling Stone, Williams said in a statement, “I’m so ready and so incredibly humbled to get to share this project." She then explained, “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.”
The singer said in her statement, “I’m in a band with my favorite 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." She further added, "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.”