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Rapid React: Hayley Williams – ‘Simmer’

Written By Sam Murphy on 01/23/2020

Hayley Williams‘ first solo single Simmer isn’t as solo as you would think. Its credits list Taylor York from Paramore and the band’s touring bassist Joey Howard which would have you believe, before hearing the song, that it’s business as usual for Williams.

Simmer is not a Paramore song though and that’s evident from the outset. Instrumentally, it’s experimental, playing with breaths and tinny percussion. Vocally, Williams uses her voice in ways we’ve never heard before, holding back on her trademark soaring choruses and instead exploring some of its gentler qualities.

Williams has always been primed for pop success but never quite taken the opportunity to grab a gigantic chart hit. Her solo moment would have been the opportune time but instead she’s gone in the opposite direction. With its haunting verses and its tense, anxious chorus, it’s one the most alternative tracks she’s ever made.

Simmer deals with feelings of control, anger, anxiety and depression but while Paramore’s last album After Laughter dressed that up brightness, here she delves into the darkness. The results are tantalising, whetting our appetite for the full album PETALS FOR AMOR out 8th May.

Best Part: The vocal samples at the beginning are a haunting entrance.

Worst Part: It’s near impossible to pick one.

Best Lyric: “Eyes closed / Another way to make it to 10,” is an incredible way of depicting restraint and forced calm.

Worst Lyric: “Wrap yourself in petals,” isn’t a bad lyric but it hits the lightest of all the lyrics.