Last month, Hayley Williams promised fans a sampling of a new solo project, her first outside Paramore. On Wednesday (Jan. 22), Williams introduced her debut solo album Petals for Armor with a chilling, cinema-quality music video for the equally spine-tingling lead single “Simmer.”
The video finds Williams running through the moonlit woods before coming across animal bones, a glowing orb, and a lonely house bearing some very dark secrets. It’s a fitting mood-setter for “Simmer,” a calmly sinister alternative pop song with an alluring bass groove and an extremely catchy chorus. And while Paramore is on break, “Simmer” shows Williams has kept busy with her usual collaborators: the new song was produced by Paramore guitarist Taylor York and written by Williams, York and Joey Howard, Paramore’s live bassist for the touring cycle behind its 2017 album After Laughter. The “Simmer” video was produced by Warren Fu, who also produced the video for the After Laughter single “Rose-Colored Boy.”
A new album is also on the way. It’s called Petals for Armor — a phrase alluded to in the “Simmer” lyrics — and is set for release May 8 via Atlantic. Williams has been posting since October on an Instagram page titled Petals for Armor, leading some fans to speculate this was also the artist name she’d be recording under; however, Wednesday’s release confirms this is the LP title, which Williams will release under her own name.
Williams is taking the album on the road, too. In an interview today with BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac, she confirmed a forthcoming tour behind Petals For Armor. “We don’t have all the dates yet, but it is happening,” Williams said.
Below, find the “Simmer” video, followed by a statement from Williams about the new music.
“I’m so ready and so incredibly humbled to get to share this project… 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 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. 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.”