Hayley Williams – Simmer | Lyrics Review and Song Meaning
The lead singer of Paramore, Hayley Williams is looking at a solo music journey with her brand new single “Simmer.” As much as this is a solo project, members of Paramore, Joe Howard and Taylor York have also contributed to this track. The solo debut was accompanied with an eerie music video and we will take a look at the lyrics and meaning behind this song and the video.
Music from Paramore comes after almost a three-year hiatus, after their critically acclaimed 2017 project ‘After Laughter.’ The new single was announced on January 20, 2020, just two days before its official release date. Even more exciting news is that “Simmer” is the lead single off of Hayley Williams’ upcoming debut solo album ‘Petals For Armor.’ In the press release for the new song, Hayley confirmed that the new album will release on May 8, 2020.
“Simmer” talks about the beast within yourself. Sometimes this beast can be a good thing–a motivator. Oftentimes, if not controlled, this beast takes over you and dissects your soul. One will be pushed to decide when to draw the line between war and peace, within yourself. However, trying to keep your “eyes closed” throughout this experience would be like ‘wearing flower petals as armour.’
Watch “Simmer” Music Video by Hayley Williams
Download “Simmer” Single on Apple Music and Amazon
In the music video, we see Hayley Williams running naked in a dark forest. We don’t see anyone chasing her, so we can assume that this portrays her running from her past. She finds some shelter, a house, but inside, she finds even more demons. This is a perfect metaphor that suggests that you cannot run from your past. You just have to accept it as a version of yourself and let go and move on.
One form of the beast within ourselves is ‘rage.’ Oftentimes it sits in silence waiting for an opportunity to burst out. The more you suppress it, the more intense it gets. Rage accumulates inside you. However, letting out the rage inside you is not the solution to this. ‘Letting go’ is the solution to this.
It’s the things that we hold on to, hurt us the most.
Just two words “Give in” emit so much power in the context of this song. Hayley Williams suggests that sometimes your inner self can be too much to handle. This is what anxiety and depression feel like. Sometimes, you just give in to your demons.
Hayley Williams talks about ‘control’ in the chorus of “Simmer.” There are ways to control yourself from bursting our your inner demons. But the easiest thing would be to give in to the demons. If you hope to succeed in life, you need to learn how to control the demons and make them work for you.
The reference to “wrath and mercy” alludes to the Christian religious beliefs. Often God is said to display his wrath and mercy to his subjects in this world in different ways. But how does God decide what is good and bad? Oftentimes, the world appears in grey, and not black and white. Killing the murderer of your parents may be categorized ‘good’ or ‘bad’ based on individual perspective. As a solemn act, murder is bad, but then where is ‘justice’?
‘Simmer’ is a term widely used in culinary science. It means “to cook slowly in a liquid just below the boiling point” as per Merriam Web Dictionary. However, within the context of the song, it could mean that we should learn to control our feelings and emotions. We have to let them settle in or ease in our system and eventually let them be faded away in memory.
Hayley Williams talks about her personal life and relationships in the second verse of the song. She admits that even she failed to see her self worth before. If she did, she would have never let some ex-boyfriend treat her the way he did. If it had come to it, she would have done anything to protect her children from a despicable man like that. Because a mother’s love is generally considered to be the strongest out of all.
In an interview with BBC Radio 1, Hayley Williams talked about the inspiration behind ‘petals for armour’ line of the song; “And I think for me it’s somewhat of a mantra to try to stay soft in a really really hard world. And feel pain and feel everything, like let all of it come to you and try to put out something that can redeem it all, even if it’s ugly at first. The lyric is “wrap yourself in petals for armour” because I kept feeling like the way for me to protect myself best is to be vulnerable and be okay with having a lot of pain at certain times and also feeling a lot of joy at certain times.”
What do you think about this brand new song by Hayley Williams of Paramore? What do these lyrics mean to you? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Check out the complete lyrics and further song meaning breakdown on Genius.