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Hayley Williams’ “Petals for Armor” EPs Shows How Vulnerability Can Be Protection

by Georgia Dodd

Petals of Armor I and II
(Atlantic Records)

In February, American singer-songwriter and Paramore front-woman Hayley Williams shared PETALS FOR ARMOR I, which featured five songs from her upcoming album, including “Simmer,” “Leave It Alone,” “Cinnamon,” “Creepin’” and “Sudden Desire.” PETALS FOR ARMOR II is the second extended play and was released on Atlantic Records on April 21, 2020. The second part includes “Why We Ever,” “Over Yet,” “My Friend,” “Dead Horse,” and “Roses/Lotus/Iris/Violet,” (featuring backing vocals from Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers of Boygenius).

These are the perfect songs to listen to in a quarantine when you’re feeling stir crazy or like you want to simultaneously bleach all your hair off and shave your head, cry and make art. Equal parts vulnerable and vengeful, PETALS FOR ARMOR I and II still has the head-bangable, rockability of Paramore but Williams gives us some really emotional lyrics that tug on the heart strings. This album gives us a glimpse into Williams’ ongoing struggle with depression and her lyrics give us a closer look at personal themes like family and relationship issues. Hayley Williams unapologetically wears her vulnerability like armor. In her own words, PETALS FOR ARMOR is essentially, “the idea that being vulnerable is a shield.”

Williams said in a statement: “I needed these songs to help me get to a place where I could name my shame, take inventory of emotional scars, true friends, awful coping mechanisms, and discover what I desire for my life.”

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While both the EPs are out, the solo debut album and part III, PETALS FOR ARMOR is out on May 8. If these past EPs have proven anything, the rest of Hayley Williams’ album will be amazing. (5/5)


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