Paramore's Hayley Williams solo era is here, and it arrived like a horror-movie monster standing in a suburban house doorway. On Wednesday (January 22), she released "Simmer," a dread-inducing new track of angry feels that comes with an equally scary video about evading a slasher. Wait until you see the twist ending. You'll look at yourself in the mirror a bit differently afterward.
"Simmer" sounds like the first zombified arms bursting from the ground at a cemetery in the middle of the night. Its neck hair-raising groove comes from the whispering guitar courtesy of Paramore guitarist Taylor York, who imbues the midnight playground with an intense fog. Williams's soft vocals add to the intensity as she sings about a wide range of emotions like rage and contempt. "Rage is a quiet thing / You think that you've tamed it / But it's just lying in wait," she mumbles into an imaginary crystal ball, setting up the song to explore the dark feelings that make us into primal beings.
In the video, Williams flees from a masked killer who can take the form of a red cloud. After running through a forest and taking refuge in a nearby house, the killer chases her there. By putting mud all over her body, Williams escapes from the entity chasing her, then turns the tables by clobbering it over the head and knocking it out on the floor. Suddenly, Williams looks horrified as she looks down upon it and sees her own face staring back at her. Is she suggesting that the past is dead and she's moving boldly into the future?
Williams is set to release a solo project, Petals For Armor, soon. It's the start of her solo era that she's been teasing for a little while, revealing in December that she'd be ringing off the new year with some fresh tunes. Paramore has been on something of an unofficial hiatus since 2018.
Check out Williams's scary new "Simmer" video up above.