Hayley Williams – Petals for Armor
Most people will remember Paramore’s Hayley Williams with bright red hair and strong black eyeliner. She was easily one of the biggest indie-pop icons of the noughties, and with songs like Misery Business and The Only Exception, she quickly accumulated hordes of teenage fans.
These teenage fans, much like Williams herself, have now grown up. Leaving Paramore and the eyeliner behind, she released her first solo venture in January this year with part one of her album, Petals for Armor.
Petals for Armor I is made up of five songs and offers listeners an insight into what they can expect from the rest of the album. Leave It Alone and Simmer came out first as singles before being quickly joined by Cinnamon, Creepin’ and Sudden Desire. In a statement about the EP, Williams said that there were a lot of themes covered in the whole album, and she wanted to separate the themes so listeners could digest the messages in each song.
Simmer is a brave beginning to the album and acts as a statement in itself, telling us that this project is going to be different than anything else we’ve seen before. Unmatched lyricism and a heady combination of drumbeats leads us into the album and hooks us from the opening chords.
While the messages of change, loneliness and depression come through on the first EP, none of the songs sound even slightly reminiscent of each other. They bounce between laid-back ballads and bouncing pop hits, leaving us wondering what’s coming next in the best possible way.
EP 2 was later released and it continues the trend of complete reinvention. Over Yet might be a frontrunner for one of the best songs on the whole album, taking notes from disco and energetic indie pop in its sound. Roses/Lotus/Violets, meanwhile, is reminiscent of Alanis Morrissette, with fiery, heartwrenching vocals and a powerful chorus.
To say that this album is unrecognisable from Hayley William’s previous releases is no understatement. It’s a vital listen and will undoubtedly push the star back onto our playlists, and us back into obsession.
Photo: Lindsey Byrnes
Petals for Armor is released on 8th May 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Hayley Williams’s website here.
Watch the video for Leave it Alone here: