Earlier today (January 22), the musician premiered ‘Simmer’, the first track to be taken from her debut solo album, which is titled ‘Petals For Armor’.
Speaking to BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac, Williams gave some insight into the album’s name. “It’s part of a lyric in ‘Simmer’,” she said. “A while ago, I went to this cranial-sacral masseuse. Maybe a lot of people might consider that a kind of woo woo witch doctor but I’ll take any help I can get. I was laying on her table and I started having these weirdly creepy visions of flowers growing out of me – and not in a beautiful way, it was very painful and very grotesque but I kind of realised in that moment there was a lot that was trying so hard to grow out of me and it was going to hurt to do it.”
She continued: “I think, for me, it’s somewhat of a mantra to try and stay soft in a really, really hard world and feel pain and let all of it come to you and try and put out something that can redeem it all, even if it’s ugly at first. The lyric is “wrap yourself in petals for armor” cos I kept feeling like the way for me to protect myself best is to be vulnerable and be OK with having a lot of pain at certain times and also feeling a lot of joy at certain times.
“As long as I’m staying soft to those things and I’m open to letting those things in and out of me then I actually can survive the world a lot easier than if I stay hard and with my fists up all the time.”
Williams added that she needed to have a break from her day job with Paramore to be able to get to the feelings she explores on the album. “I was really excited about the band taking time off,” she said. “It kind of came to a point where it was like, ‘What’s it like taking time off without losing a member? Let’s try it!’
“I do believe when it’s time for us to make the next Paramore record there will be just as transparent lyrics and hopefully really visceral feelings that come across. I wouldn’t have had access to this stuff if we didn’t just pause and get quiet for a minute.”