Hayley Williams has long been simultaneously open and guarded, someone who can write about pain, depression and yearning with diaristic specificity, but who still keeps the deepest hurts next to the chest. Through Paramore, in particular, we've seen Williams grow up in real time, own up to youthful faults and look forward with hope.
She's taken pride in the camaraderie of Paramore and spent years refusing to be sold as a solo artist by her label. Even with the band's own internal drama, she has said, "I wanted that us-against-the-world thing." Paramore is now 16 years strong.
Today, she's announcing her first solo album, Petals for Armor, due out May 8. Taylor York produces and touring Paramore member Joey Howard co-writes some of the songs — it's a solo record supported by the Paramore family.
If the depression that seeped beneath 2017's After Laughter was streaked with neon highlights, then "Simmer" forms a thundercloud, quietly seething. The track's dark synths, sparse guitar and front-end mix of electronic and live drums paint a muted palette on which Williams spills the guts of a "f***** like that man."