Review: “Simmer” by Hayley Williams

Growth is Key.

By Joshua Kohler

Staff Music Critic

Hayley William’s highly anticipated single titled “Simmer” begins with the soft and rippling hum
of a guitar combined with beatboxing. The set is interrupted by a gasp and the guitar makes its way back
in coupled by a set of drums and some vocals. What I like about this part of Simmer is that it makes you
a bit uneasy until it picks up through the gradual development of its soft sound which is reminiscent of
Phil Spector’s “wall of sound.”
“Simmer” maintains the same tone and incorporates breaks which draw your attention to the
softness of the song and its contrast to the lyrics which deal with feelings of rage. In addition, Simmer
details dealings with anger as Hayley makes callbacks to many of Paramore’s old works and such as their
interludes and “Miracle” while using multiple vocal tracks to create an astral sound as she did in
Paramore’s hit song titled “Misery Business.”
I find that this makes Simmer the type of song which can be listened to as a smooth lullaby, a
pouring out of the heart, and a psychedelic soundtrack. It’s use of instrumentals that have differing
levels of energy with respect to the words used are what I love about the songs produced by the band
Paramore such as “Fences” from 2007’s “Riot!” and “Anklebiters” from 2013’s “Paramore.”
With all of this praise, the song is not perfect, but I would say it’s good and it makes sure to
include aspects of previous songs, included many nostalgic callbacks to earlier tracks, and maintained
use of her ethereal vocal sound in one of many culminations of over a decade’s work. Even so, it doesn’t
have to be perfect by any stretch. After all, it’s about growth.

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