Hayley Williams Returns To Music With Solo Single “Simmer”

“Simmer” begins with heavy breathing followed by a large exhale from Hayley Williams; the woman who has spent most of her life with a band of boys singing and performing pop/rock tunes. As a huge Paramore fan since my teenage years, I always thought Hayley would eventually venture into the solo world in order to take full control over what she wants to put out into the world. Did I think it would be in 2020? Absolutely not. I fully expected Ms. Williams to dive into her hair dye brand and take a good couple of years to live her personal life and pop in to complete some Paramore tasks on the side. But “Simmer” is here and has blown me away. It’s not what I expected, but is everything I wanted to hear from Hayley.

Hayley Williams Simmer.jpg
Image via billboard.com

The song starts on a strong note with one simple line that seems to hold a lot of weight with the singer; “rage is a quiet thing”. In regards to the dark, angry tone of the track, Hayley told BBC Radio 1, “I have a lot of anger. I feel angry, like I’ve been through things that make me feel angry, I’ve witnessed things that are so not justified, and I’m angry.” In a way, “Simmer” is incredibly cathartic. It feels like Hayley pieced together journal entries from the past couple of years and created a concept that is relatable and meaningful to so many people. Throughout the rest of the song, one big question creeps to the surface in the chorus; “how to draw the line between wrath and mercy?”, which is such an interesting question to pose as it relates to anger. I’m sure being in the public eye can shift your mindset when it comes to processing anger outwardly for fear of ruining your image or the overall perception of who you are – which is something Hayley probably struggles with. The question itself stands up on its own in a powerful way.

When it comes to the musical DNA of “Simmer”, it has Taylor York written all over it. I’m so happy that Taylor was involved in the making of this song, because he truly knows how to create unique chords and medleys. A steady drum beat, haunting vocals, and a subtle bass line highlight this supercharged dark anthem (think Death Cab for Cutie meets Florence & The Machine). Not only is York a production maestro, but he is trusted by Hayley to bring her words to life sonically. “Simmer” feels like a walk down a dark hallway in the middle of the night. It doesn’t sound like Paramore in the slightest, which is a true testament to Hayley’s artistry and vision to make music she wants to make. Petals for Armor is an incredibly beautiful concept and I can’t wait to see the rest of her musicality come to life.

The album Petals for Armor is set to release on May 8

 


 

Hiatus Over; Paramore Is Back

Last Wednesday marked the official return of the pop/punk band Paramore. For fans everywhere, this day has been a long time in the making. It’s been four years since their self-titled album, Paramore (“Still Into You”, “Ain’t It Fun”) was crushing the radio waves. As a diehard fan since my high school days, I sat at my desk at my big girl adult job and teared up knowing that my favorite band was back with new music.

new pmore
Image via nytimes.com

They dropped their first single, “Hard Times”, the accompanying music video, an album tracklist AND release date (May 12). Not to mention, the first leg of their TOUR. Paramore went from behind the scenes to front and center stage in a matter of hours. You could almost hear the twenty-something old school Paramore fans grabbing their hi-top Converse and rifling through dresser drawers to find the perfect Hot Topic tee.

“Hard Times” is as fresh as it gets. It feels like the right transition coming after the electronically driven Paramore. The rock sound is still there deep down, but the surface is lighter, more eclectic. One thing that always remains the same is the music. It’s always honest and it’s always good. Although the band has had their fair share of complicated drama, they continue to remain driven to make only the best for their fans. “Times” is actually a dark song, but it’s one you can dance to in your kitchen for hours on end.

The music video explodes and becomes an epic retro pop collage. Think Saved by the Bell meets Mario Kart; inventive yet right on trend. Williams is her usual expressive self (minus the new bleached hair). The Mississippi native trades in her headbangs for head bops as she twirls around arms wide open to a new tropical pop beat. A tri-theme remains prevalent throughout the video as we also saw in the 2013 video treatment for “Still Into You.” Welcoming back OG member, Zac Farro, the three seem to finally all be on the same artistic page.

The four-year hiatus was a pivotal moment for the band. In a recent interview with The New York Times, lead singer Hayley Williams said, “I didn’t even know if we were going to make another record. There was a moment when I didn’t even want it to happen. Then it was like, I want it to happen, but I don’t know how we’re going to do it.” Williams often feels inspired by adulthood as we heard several times on Paramore (“Grow Up”, “Last Hope”). “Times” follows suit. The chorus rings, “hard times, gonna make you wonder why you even try, hard times, gonna take you down and laugh when you cry.” A call & response element adds to the never ending appeal of Paramore’s sound. One we can’t wait to hear more of.

 

Paramore’s new album, After Laughter will be released May 12.


 

Music Monday’s: Escape Route

Escape Route

Key Item: Vivid graphic t-shirt

Key Materials: Leather short

Shoe Situation: A simple sandal or any shoe of your choice

Accessory Must: Bold lense sunnie

Photo via: http://dearryk.com
Photo via: http://dearryk.com

“I got a life out there somewhere its waiting, lined with palm trees and only new faces,” sound straight out of lead singer Hayley Williams’ dream diary. Paramore added this adventurous heavy track to the deluxe version of their self titled album, Paramore. “Escape Route” follows someone as they start on a new adventure; something most people can easily relate to. “I’m moving on, cause I just want to feel for once that I belong,” are the lyrics blurted out of Williams’ mouth as she effortlessly creates her new life plan. “Route” is reminiscient of Paramore’s earlier songs (especially All We Know Is Falling), because of its emphasis on heavy guitar and drums and a fast paced/repetitive chorus. Nothing like a straight up Paramore rock jam to motivate some positive life changes, right?!

-Abbey 🙂

Spring Playlist!

I’m sure not all of you have been experiencing an absolutely brutal winter like I have, but let me tell you… I have never looked forward to spring as much as I am this year. The constant scraping of my car and 15 layers a day walking to class are as annoying as it gets. Not to mention the dirty muddy floors of every entrance way making me fear my life every time I slightly slip.

Me walking to and from class every day...
Me walking to and from class every day…

So what do I do to get over my winter blues? Sit in my warm bed, drink some tea, and listen to music. I feel like I haven’t shared what I’ve been listening to lately, so I thought I would update you guys as to what’s on my “Spring Playlist”.

1.) “Treat Me Like Fire” by Lion Babe. Just found this duo recently and totally dig their vibes. R&B infused with some killer beats, add some seriously sexy vocals and I am hooked! Also check out “Jungle Lady”.

2.) “Dream” by Imagine Dragons. One of my favorites off their new album “Smoke and Mirrors”. The song is absolutely beautiful start to finish, complete with the always heart pounding ID drum beat and Reynolds’ vocals cutting through to the very core of every human heart.

3.) “All Day” by Kanye West feat. Theophilus London & Paul McCartney. You guys…I’ve been raging to this song at the gym ever since it came out. Yes, it is laced with profanity, but that’s just Yeezy at his finest. There are so many dope elements to this song and it also happens to be sitting proudly at number 1 on iTunes. This only gets me more psyched to hear the new album.

4.) “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” by Ella Eyre. I was watching another music video and this song was playing on a laundry commercial of some sort, I stopped what I was doing immediately and looked the song up. Eyre resembles a slightly edgier Adele with endless vocal runs and classic piano accompaniment. Yes, this is a remake from the late 80’s. HERS IS SO MUCH BETTER.

5.) “Play No Games” by Big Sean feat. Chris Brown & Ty Dolla $ign. Sean’s whole album is pretty epic to say the least. His lyrical content is way beyond anything he’s ever done before. I think this song should be on the radio IMMEDIATELY. It would do so well, and I really hope he makes it a single. Brown seems to have a way with radio hits…

6.) “I Caught Myself” by Paramore. This song was on the first Twilight soundtrack and for some reason I forgot it existed for the longest time and recently I have been obsessing over it again. The guitar is so mesmerizing and Hayley’s voice is on the verge of pleading and it couldn’t be more angelic.

7.) “One Last Night” by Vaults. I plucked this from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack as one of my favorites off the album. The string section truly makes this song as delicate as it is. With such powerful lyrics, the sense of beauty dangles around the hidden agenda of love.

8.) “Adore” by Cashmere Cat feat. Ariana Grande. Who’s that? Nobody knows, but now we do. Holy hell, Ariana’s vocals are spot on as usual. The best part? The song stays true to Grande’s musical form mixing R&B and hip-hop beats to create a perfect pop song as her high notes weave interchangeably throughout the entire three and a half minutes.

Hopefully these songs drag you out of the snowbank and into the flower bed. March 20th can’t come soon enough…

This is what my dreams look like right now.
This is what my dreams look like right now.

-Abbey

A New Year, According to Paramore!

2015 is quickly approaching so I thought it would be fitting to provide you with some nuggets of wisdom to help you start a beautiful new year! As you know, my favorite band is Paramore and with them comes brilliant lyrics. I picked out various lyrics from all four of their albums to give you life knowledge as told from the flaming mouth of Hayley Williams.

gif from giphy.com
gif from giphy.com

“Some things I’ll never know, and I had to let them go.”

-“Pressure”, All We Know Is Falling

“And when all security fails, Will you be there to help me through.”

-“Conspiracy”, All We Know Is Falling

“I am finding out that maybe I was wrong, that I’ve fallen down and I can’t do this alone, stay with me, this is what I need, please?”

-“My Heart”, All We Know Is Falling

“Somehow, everything’s gonna fall right into place, if we only had a way to make it all fall faster every day.”

-“Hallelujah”, Riot!

“Take these chances to turn it around, yeah take these chances and make it somehow.”

-“When It Rains”, Riot!

“Somewhere weakness is our strength, and I’ll die searching for it.”

-“Let the Flames Begin”, Riot!

“Now, we’ve learned to run from anything uncomfortable, we’ve tied our pain below and no one ever has to know that inside we’re broken.”

-“Miracle”, Riot!

“When all that is waiting for you won’t come any closer, you’ve got to reach out a little more.”

-“Careful”, Brand New Eyes

“You don’t deserve a point of view if the only thing you see is you.”

-“Playing God”, Brand New Eyes

“If it’s not real you can’t hold it in your hands, you can’t feel it with your heart…but if it’s true you can see it with your eyes, even in the dark.”

-“Brick By Boring Brick”, Brand New Eyes

“See I’m trying to find my place and it might not be here where I feel safe, we all learn to make mistakes and run from them.”

-“Misguided Ghosts”, Brand New Eyes

“I could follow you to the beginning, just to relive the start, maybe then we’d remember to slow down, at all of our favorite parts.”

-“All I Wanted”, Brand New Eyes

“No one’s the same as they used to be, much as we try to pretend, no one’s as innocent as they could be, we all fall short, we all sin.”

-“Fast In My Car”, Paramore

“Some of us have to grow up sometimes, and so, if I have to I’m gonna leave you behind.”

-“Grow Up”, Paramore

“But the more I try to push it I realize, gotta let go of control.”

-“Last Hope”, Paramore

“Why you wanna please the world and leave yourself to drop dead? Someday you’re gonna be the only one you’ve got.”

-“Anklebiters”, Paramore

“For all the things you’re alive to feel, let the pain remind you hearts can heal.”

-“Hate to See Your Heart Break”, Paramore

“Just think of the future and think of your dreams, you’ll get away from here, you’ll get away eventually…don’t get lost in the memories, keep your eyes on a new prize.”

-“Future”, Paramore

gif from giphy.com
gif from giphy.com

Rock on in 2015!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with loving family and friends!

XoXo,

Abbey 🙂