Reviews

Hayley Williams Brings a Full Range of Emotions to Her Second EP Petals for Armor II

For Hayley Williams, the grind never seems to stop. On April 21, she released Petals for Armor II, her second solo EP.

This EP covers a full range of topics and might even be more powerful than EP I. Petals for Armor II dropped ahead of the Paramore singer’s highly anticipated debut solo album, Petals for Armor. Despite the global pandemic, Hayley has been releasing songs almost weekly. Hayley told stories of female empowerment, friendship, mental health and failed relationships.

First on the EP, “Dead Horse” is reminiscent of some After Laughter tracks. Williams sings of feeling trapped in her past relationship with Chad Gilbert. The song has poppy instrumentals with dark, metaphoric lyrics. You can feel Hayley’s regret, but also acceptance of her mistakes. This is definitely one of her most powerful tracks from her solo material thus far.

“My Friend” is a more wholesome song. The Tennessee musician sings an ode to friends who are there for you through thick and thin. This track is softer than “Dead Horse,” leading it to feel more personable. Hayley sings to everyone who has friends that will be with them, even when things get bad. Additionally, the music video is a nice nod to Hayley’s bestie and business partner, Brian.

“Over Yet” is the perfect positivity track. Although Hayley has had a lot of darker content, “Over Yet” is the perfect antithesis. The song is an anthem for moving forward despite ongoing problems. Even better, “Over Yet” is upbeat and plays much like a track you would want to dance to. Hayley acknowledges her struggles with mental health. However, to the tune of a retro dance beat, we’re reminded that going through rough patches only helps you grow.

Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris” speaks to listeners in flower metaphors. This track, featuring Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers, shows the power of feminism. The lyrics show the power of inner growth and finding yourself. Singing, “What do you care if I grow?” Hayley shows no one needs to hold you back from moving forward. With backing vocals from Boygenius, the song is delicate, yet extremely powerful.

Lastly, we have “Why We Ever.” Hayley said this was one of the first tracks she worked on for her solo project. The track really encompasses the mood of the album. It speaks of acknowledging your struggles and mistakes while learning from them. It also demonstrates the power of Hayley’s vocals showing such deep emotions through fluctuating tones.

With all this content, the anticipation for the final installment of Petals for Armor is high. On May 8, we will get the last set of songs to make up one collective album. Overall, it is an emotional ride, but 100 percent worth it. It’s inspiring to see Hayley Williams process so much of the past few years of her life through song. Her words will definitely resonate with longtime fans and new listeners alike and we can’t wait for more.

Featured Image: Atlantic Records

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