Track Review | ‘Simmer’ by Hayley Williams

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Image from her Twitter

I was super excited to hear that Hayley Williams was going to released a solo project. To say that I’m a big fan would be pointless because I think everyone born in the 90’s has a soft spot for Williams. That being said, I really didn’t know what to expect from this track in terms of sound, especially after Paramore switched up their sound with After Laughter.

Whatever I had in mind was not what I got in the best way possible. While I hope this isn’t the extent of what Williams has to offer with this project, it’s certainly a strong start and has me excited to see what is to come.

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Highlights

There’s something so haunting in Williams’ vocals throughout this track, whether she goes more breathy or more forceful. This is especially true in the bridge when there are layered vocals that are slightly out of sync.

But I think what captivated me the most when I first listen to this track was the use of vocal clips as part of the instrumentation, whether it was breathing or a repetition of the track’s title. It created this chaos to the song that added to the feeling of building anger that was the subject matter. If you listen to this with some decent headphones you’ll experience the excellent mixing of these clips as they jump and slide from one ear to the next.

Low Points

I really only have one thing that disappointed me about this track and that is the pay-off. I kept expecting with all of the build-up in the mixing that there would be some kind of release of that pressure but it didn’t happen.

I suppose some of that comes from the subject matter of the song. It’s about anger building and telling yourself not to let it take control of you. But besides brief moments when the instrumentation would build or Williams’ vocals would get a little more aggressive, it was a little too tame in my opinion.

Rating: 4/5

I had a mixture of feelings on first hearing this song. I suppose I had some expectation as to what it would sound like and was instead surprised. But on further listens I don’t see that as a bad thing. If this could have just been a Paramore song I would have been disappointed. Instead, Williams brings something new to this track that I hadn’t heard from her yet and she does it with percision and a heck of a lot of talent.

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