Solo material from Paramore’s Hayley Williams has been a long time coming. The singer has guided the ship for the “Misery Business” emo-rock mainstays through five studio albums and a handful of line-up changes. But never has Williams released a single under her name alone. That is, not until now.
Part of her previously announced Petals for Armor project, that new song — “Simmer” — is the sweltering debut solo joint from the Paramore vocalist. It arrived Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 22) after Williams teased the number the day prior. Listen to the tune and read its lyrics toward the bottom of this post.
“I’m so ready and so incredibly humbled to get to share this project,” says Williams. “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.”
She adds, “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.”
On Tuesday (Jan. 21), Williams revealed that her “first offering” would arrive in the middle of the week. “‘SIMMER,’ drops 1.22.20,” she relayed on Twitter. Hours later, the singer shared via Instagram that she’s “so very grateful for the last year at home. [I] didn’t realize I’d have such a thing to show for the time away. Tomorrow is only the start. I’m hardly prepared but I’m definitely proud.”
It’s not the first time the musician has teased her solo stuff. In a message from December 2019, Williams reflected on her 31st birthday with an eye toward a project in 2020. “I’m putting out some music next year,” she said. “With the help of some of my closest friends, I made something I’m going to call my own. It’s a really special project and you’ll get a taste of it in January.”
Thereafter, various audio and video cues of the imminent new music appeared across the singer’s social media outposts. Those came appended with a website for the fresh Williams project. “Simmer” is the first release from the musician since Paramore’s After Laughter album emerged in 2017.
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