Hayley Williams of Paramore recently made her long-awaited solo debut by not only dropping two singles, “Simmer” and “Leave It Alone,” but an entire Petals For Armor EP from her upcoming album of the same name.
As we all know, Williams has released music with Paramore for the past 15 years, with everything starting with All We Know Is Falling in 2005. Then, four albums and countless accolades later, the band released their fifth LP, After Laughter, in 2017.
The band haven’t played together live in nearly a year-and-a-half, and now Williams has come out with her own music. However, her solo debut wasn’t a total surprise, with a few moves by the band and the frontwoman that seemed to allude that this was coming. You can see 10 moments that led up to Williams’ debut below.
1. Paramore haven’t played together in over a year
At the Paramore concert in Nashville and they just announced that they won’t be performing Misery Business again for a long time after this show. Omg. pic.twitter.com/wARvoYGz76
— Tyler Matl (@TylerMatl) September 8, 2018
In September 2018, the band retired their cult-favorite track “Misery Business” and haven’t performed together since. That’s a long time to go without a show, and it seemed like their last gig was monumental and would lead to some sort of break.
2. Williams invested in her own projects
From her Sanctuary of Self-Love at Bonnaroo to expanding her beauty brand goodDYEyoung, Williams has had a lot going on outside of the band in recent years. She’s also done a few collabs along the way, so she’s shown an interest in other projects.
3. She’s been honest about needing time for herself
Over the past few years, Williams hasn’t been afraid to talk about her mental health and has been honest about when she needs a break. It seems like she had some revelations that led to her wanting to explore other ventures out of her own interest, including a solo project.
4. She gave some real interviews about the future of the band
Last March, Williams talked about how the future of Paramore wouldn’t look like the early years. In that interview, she also said the band would never have a formal breakup or hiatus, so it still seemed like Paramore would be taking a break for a while.
5. She shared that muted teaser and was vague about it
Next, Williams unleashed a silent song teaser in mid-June that sent everyone into a frenzy that new Paramore music was coming. However, that all came crashing down shortly after when she said she didn’t know what was next for the band and revealed they were hanging out without making music. It seemed like the band members were really all doing their own things, especially the frontwoman.
6. When the band posted that cryptic year-end reflection
View this post on Instagram
happy holidays and stuff from the kids who stuck together. from post-school carpools to and from band practice… to traveling the world to play our songs. even to flying across the country to support each other in our own respective adventures. we’ve known each other through every phase of life thus far… still so much more to go! 6 months from now all 3 of us will be in our 30’s. not sure how that happened. we should also say thanks to you, while we’re here, for carrying the torch for the band and believing in all the ways we’ve found to create. we love us and we love you too. . photo by our manager of 15 years: dad mercado
At the end of last year, Paramore posted an adorable photo of the band that was extremely reflective. Some people wondered if it was a breakup announcement, which they later clarified, but it further instilled the idea that they weren’t in the studio working on a new album.
7. When she finally teased music she’s “going to call [her] own”
— hayley from Paramore 🌺 (@yelyahwilliams) December 28, 2019
At the end of 2019, Williams shared the news that she had some new music that she’s “going to call [her] own.” It was the first time she was explicit about a solo project, and she definitely delivered with “Simmer.”
8. Then she got weird on social media
After that initial teaser, Williams posted three identical black pictures to her Instagram in January, which many fans interpreted as her starting a blank slate with the project. It was also her first post since she declared a social media break in June 2019, so we freaked out.
9. When she teased the song so hard
After that first announcement, the teasers came pouring in. Initially, we all thought that “Petals For Armor” would be the name of the project, but we were stoked to hear we were getting a full solo album.
10. When she explained how she focused on herself
After “Simmer” dropped, Williams gave some insight about what led up to her doing her own project. She said Paramore had to get quiet so she could focus on her own thing and reassured fans that there would be a new Paramore record in the future.