Simmer

Album: Petals for Armor (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • Hayley Williams' official debut solo single is a rocktronica track where she reflects on her anger. She kicks off the song by singing:

    Rage is a quiet thing
    You think that you've tamed it
    But it's just lying in wait


    She is furious with a man who has done her wrong. In the chorus, Williams concludes that she needs to control her fury so that her emotions don't get the better of her.

    Eyes close
    Another way to make it to 10
    Oh, how to draw the line between wrath and mercy?
    Simmer simmer simmer simmer simmer down
  • Williams ultimately takes the higher road, choosing to use "petals for armor." The singer liked her poetical "petals for armor" phrase so much, she titled her album after it.
  • The instrumentation stresses the song's message of anger management. Rather than incorporating thrashing guitars to signify rage, there is a calming watery harp, an alluring bass, and sinister vocal harmonies.
  • Williams wrote the song with her Paramore bandmate, guitarist Taylor York, and with Paramore touring musician Joseph Howard. York also produced the track.
  • Speaking to BBC Radio 1 about the track, Williams said, "This song was such a shock. I really thought like 'Oh, I'm just gonna write. I have a lot of anger. I feel angry, like I've been through things that make me feel angry, I've witnessed things that are so not justified, and I'm angry.'"
  • Though Petals for Armor is Hayley Williams' debut solo album, she has worked away from Paramore before. Williams recorded "Teenagers" in 2009 for the Jennifer's Body soundtrack and has also sung on other artist's tunes such as:

    B.O.B.'s "Airplanes."

    Zedd's "Stay The Night."

    New Found Glory's "Vicious Love."

    Chvrches "Bury It."
  • The accompanying Warren Fu-directed music video shows a naked Williams running through the woods trying to escape a masked entity. When the entity eventually catches up with Williams, she knocks it unconscious. This results in its mask coming off, revealing Williams herself.

    Fu also shot the video for Paramore's After Laughter single "Rose-Colored Boy."
  • Hayley Williams performed the song live for the first time during her set on the February 4, 2020 episode of BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge.
  • Warren Fu shot the video during a cold winter day in Tennessee. The director admitted to MTV News that after seeing ice and hail in the weather forecast, he wondered if they should change the visual's concept. He was especially hesitant to shoot the running scenes as Williams' character, Mercy, is completely naked.

    "The idea behind Mercy running bare in the forest was to show a raw vulnerability and to give it a feeling of taking place out of time," Hu explained.

    However, Williams was happy to go ahead with their original plan. "'I'm all in. Doin' it for the art, man!'" he said, paraphrasing her.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Gilby ClarkeSongwriter Interviews

The Guns N' Roses rhythm guitarist in the early '90s, Gilby talks about the band's implosion and the side projects it spawned.

Bible LyricsMusic Quiz

Rockers, rappers and pop stars have been known to quote the Bible in their songs. See if you match the artist to the biblical lyric.

Lita FordSongwriter Interviews

Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.

LecraeSongwriter Interviews

The Christian rapper talks about where his trip to Haiti and his history of addiction fit into his songs.

Dwight TwilleySongwriter Interviews

Since his debut single "I'm On Fire" in 1975, Dwight has been providing Spinal-Tap moments and misadventure.

Frankie ValliSong Writing

An interview with Frankie Valli, who talks about why his songs - both solo and with The Four Seasons - have endured, and reflects on his time as Rusty Millio on The Sopranos.