Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams is releasing a debut solo studio album, Petals for Armor. It’s looking great so far, but what does this mean for Paramore?
Hayley Williams, lead singer of rock band Paramore, is doing something a little different with her latest work. After five studio albums with the band (the latest one being After Laughter in 2017) she’s decided to go solo with her creative endeavours.
Her upcoming debut as a solo artist, album Petals for Armor, has been teased with an extended play (EP), and sounds… weirdly good so far. Granted, it’s not exactly what Paramore fans would expect from a rocker like Hayley. All five Paramore albums are pretty badass, so it struck me as interesting when she announced that she was releasing separate music to the band.
So why did she go solo? Well, here’s the long answer.
Paramore: A Brief Overview
First off, this band formed in 2004, when all the members were incredibly young. I’m talking like, on the 14 year-old side of young. Things soon kicked off and the band was exposed to fame with the release of their second studio album in 2007 Riot!, an album that screams ‘teen angst’ like never before and which most people still associate them with.
The band themselves, and especially Hayley, have since grown out of the tone of this album, as certain tracks and lyrics didn’t age so nicely with their more mature selves. In the time between Riot! and Paramore’s latest album, the band saw a lot of tension and friction between members, leading to the not-so-nice departure of Josh Farro and brother Zac Farro in 2010.
Paramore’s most recent album After Laughter came out in 2017 and showcased a major shift in the band’s tone, which became something of a synth-pop sound. Zac Farro also rejoined for this album and, while many fans were unsure of the new direction the band was taking, the album was praised for its innovative style and mature themes.
However since then we haven’t heard much from the band.
What’s With Hayley’s Solo Debut?
On 24 January 2020, Hayley released her first single as a solo artist ‘Simmer’, the lead track from her upcoming album Petals for Armor. The song has an ominous tone and I feel anxious listening to it, but it’s weirdly catchy.
Petals for Armor has also received the help of Taylor York, Paramore rhythm guitarist since 2007. Taylor helped write a bunch of songs on the album through 2019, including ‘Simmer’, after the conclusion of Paramore’s After Laughter album tour. Since the tour Hayley has been open about the band’s desire to take a break, and that’s totally fair.
Regarding how Petals for Armor came about, Hayley said:
“So I started doing more intensive therapy. And, on a suggestion from one of the people that I spoke to, they were like, ‘You should just be writing again.’ It helps you to see what you’re going through’. I have a tendency to really deny things that I’m feeling and writing helps me, so it just happened.”
It seems that at the moment, Hayley’s trying to experiment things, explore a different style, perhaps pass time… whatever you want to call it. But what’s for sure is that she’s prioritising her mental health, and you know, good on her.
So What’s Next For Paramore?
Just to clear it up: Paramore is NOT breaking up.
Hayley herself has made it clear that the band is simply on hiatus, expressing that they’re taking some much needed time away from writing and touring, and doing so without any hard feelings within the group. She has recently confirmed that the band intends a new studio album following her solo endeavours, including both Taylor York and Zac Farro. So rest assured, Paramore fans. By that I mean myself.
Petals for Armor will be released on the 8th of May.
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