Hayley Williams Unveils “Simmer” Single and Video Ahead of Debut Solo LP, ‘Petals for Armor’

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Since winding down a lengthy, world tour cycle in support of their stellar (and career-best) 2017 fifth LP After Laughter, a run which ended with an epic, hometown celebration dubbed Art + Friends in late 2018, acclaimed Nashville alt rock outfit Paramore have been understandably quiet. At the time, singer Hayley Williams told us in an interview that Paramore had no update on what would come next because they genuinely didn’t know, and planned then to take a well-earned breather (and to focus on personal ventures like drummer Zac Faro’s other band, HalfNoise, and Williams’ successful hair dye company, Good Dye Young). While we have no doubt that Paramore will be back and reenergized eventually, with Williams’ recent an unexpected tease of a new solo project, the band’s continued silence makes more sense; they’re simply making room for the singer to branch out on her own for the first time.

After posting a cryptic series of photos, video and sound clips and even flyers in several major cities, Hayley has unveiled a brand new single and music video, “Simmer,” the first track from her forthcoming debut solo LP, Petals for Armor (a moniker fans initially believed might be the alias for the project, however it will instead be released under her own name). Though she’s no stranger to features, dropping in with groups like CHVRCHES, American Football, B.o.B, Zedd, Say Anything, Set Your Goals, and more over the years, and did technically release a solo track, “Teenagers,” over a decade ago as part of the Jennifer’s Body soundtrack, “Simmer” is, for all intents and purposes, the most singular encapsulation of Williams’ true expression as a solo performer.

Written by Williams, along with Paramore guitarist Taylor York and live member Joey Howard, and produced by York, “Simmer” certainly benefits from existing apart from Paramore’s oeuvre, distinct as its own new thing (not that Paramore have seemed particularly married to their pop punk past in recent years, as evidenced by the alt pop turn on their eponymous 2013 LP, or the Talking Heads spirited After Laughter), channeling an almost Radiohead-like frenetic groove juxtaposed with piercing and hypnotic vocals and Williams singular spirit of delivery. Navigating the personal and contemplative nature of rage the temptation to succumb to it, “Simmer” is seemingly, like much of Paramore’s recent work, a reflection of a fraught and intense personal navigation being aired through song. And its appropriately matched video, a particularly narrative spot directed by Warren Fu (and involvement from a ton of other talented creatives), showcases a dark and raw side of Williams that so effortlessly suits the song.

What’s next for this solo chapter of Williams’ career reminds to be seen, but with a full album on the way, we’d imagine some shows might not be far behind (especially since she had a habit of intimate hometown warmups with Paramore). We’ll surely update you if we learn more. One confirmed item on the calendar we can share, however, is Hayley’s return to Bonnaroo in June to curate her Sanctuary of Self Love plaza for a second year- definitely exciting news whether or not it might include a performance.

For now, watch “Simmer” below, and keep an eye on the site for updates ahead of Petals for Armor‘s release this May1

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[TICKET GIVEAWAY] Beach Fossils w/ Negative Gemini | Jan. 30 @ The Basement East

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As we move forward into not only a new year, but a new decade, there is, inevitably, a period of reflection of the last- a sometimes strange and fast moving era for music, that saw indie rock begin at the absolute height of critical consciousness, before fading in buzz in more recent years. Of all of the subsets of ’00s indie, the lo-fi, poppy, dreamy stylings of artists like Mac Demarco, Wild Nothing, DIIV, and the like remains one of the most enduring musical movements, and there’s no denying that Brooklyn’s Beach Fossils were and remain an integral fixture of that scene. While we await a followup to their lush and layered 2017 third LP Somersault, the band are out for a run which brings them back to town for the first time since that same year, Jan. 30 at The Basement East with buzzy LA electronic pop singer Negative Gemini. A seriously cool show for fans of modern indie (and those of us already starting to get nostalgic for the ’00s), tickets are still available right here while they last. We’re excited to announce that we’re also giving away a pair of tickets to one luck fan, however, so if you’d rather leave things to chance, read on for more about the show and enter for a chance to win below!

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[REMINDER] Don’t Miss The Rally Club w/ Harpooner & Roanoke | TONIGHT @ The Basement East

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If you’re still getting into the 2020 groove, and looking to ease back into showgoing with some quality local tunes, we have a stacked local lineup to recommend tonight, Jan. 19 at The Basement East! Still relatively new to the scene (though formerly members of long-running outfit Forlorn Strangers) headlining indie pop rock duo The Rally Club are a buzzy local fixture you should be keeping an eye on, especially with a debut album set to arrive soon. Joining the group are a pair of acts regular readers should be more than familiar with: eclectic retro pop artist Harpooner and folky rockers Roanoke, both highly-recommended, stellar live acts. You can still snag tickets right here, then read on for more about the show!

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[TICKET GIVEAWAY] Black Flag | Jan. 30 @ Cannery Ballroom

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It’s been over five years since reunited, seminal west coast hardcore outfit Black Flag last played Nashville, and a whopping 35 years since their last show before that. Formed in their youth way back in the ’70s, the group, who had a ton of members in their initial decade-long run, commanding a cult following in their day, and only managed to become more iconic and influential in the years after their 1986 split, making the hope of a reunion, despite chilly relationships and a general sense of disinterest between many key members, a long-running wish from fans. A handful of one-offs in the early ’00s notwithstanding, it wasn’t until 2013 that Black Flag roared back to life, albeit it with a retooled lineup anchored by guitarist and founder Greg Ginn. The new Black Flag released an LP and went on tour, then largely fell silent, until returning once more last year for a world tour, extending into 2020 with a long-overdue Music City return, this time at Cannery Ballroom on Jan. 30. Though they haven’t released any new music yet this run, we suspect most Black Flag fans want to hear the old stuff anyway, and that kind of nostalgia is still in full effect, even if a few of the group’s most recognizable former members are no longer involved (current singer Mike Vallely was never in the band pre-reunion, but has his own punk bona fides). Fans of classic punk will want to grab tickets right here while they last, but if you’d rather leave it to chance, we’re excited to announce that we’re also giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky fan! Read on for more about the show, and enter for a chance to win below.

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