Photo via pitchfork.com.

4.5/5 Stars

Singer and songwriter of the band Paramore, Hayley Williams, is now writing solo songs that reflect on how she has grown from her past relationships. Her new album, “FLOWERS for VASES / descansos,” is made up of 14 songs, which shed light on her recent divorce in 2017. The album was released on Feb. 5 and consists of relaxing, acoustic instruments and soft-toned vocals, showcasing the passion Williams puts into her music.

This new album put Williams entirely in the spotlight. Not only does she sing all of the vocals, but she also plays the instruments on the tracks, which include drums, guitars and keyboards. Since creating new music outside of Paramore, her lyrics focus on heartbreak, relationships and growth from her experiences, creating a much different vibe from the pop-punk music she is most known for. 

In her song “First Thing to Go” from the album, Williams sings, “I’m scared to lose what’s left of you,” subtly referring to her ex-husband Chad Gilbert. You can really feel the emotion in her voice, and her lyrics are relatable to many listeners. What is most impressive about her music in this new album is how even though the songs are about heartbreak and lost love, they give off a feeling of relaxation and peacefulness. 

In addition to “First Thing to Go,” other notable songs include “Inordinary,” “Over Those Hills” and “Asystole.” In “Asystole,” Williams sings, “I want to forget / But the feeling isn’t something I can let myself let go of.” There are many albums in the world that highlight the effects a breakup or divorce can have on someone, but “FLOWERS for VASES / descansos” reveals the raw emotion and pure loss that is personal to Williams. Any listener could feel the pain she feels, as well as the self-growth she has manifested from going through her divorce.

Williams was with Gilbert for nearly a decade and was married to him for a year. Gilbert is the guitarist in the band New Found Glory. A few years after the divorce, Paramore took a break from music in 2019 and Williams branched off to create her own music.

Paramore was created in Franklin, Tennessee in 2004 when Williams was just a teenager. Williams was the lead singer and other members of the band included guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro. The band had a recording contract with Warner Music Group’s Fueled by Ramen, the same label that Twenty One Pilots is signed to. Albums by Paramore include “All We Know Is Falling” (2005), “Riot!” (2007), “Brand New Eyes” (2009), “Paramore” (2013) and “After Laughter” (2017).

After creating such an emotion-filled and heartfelt album such as “FLOWERS for VASES / descansos,” there is no doubt that Williams will continue to release beautiful music for her fans to love and appreciate. Her past troubles may have been difficult, but those experiences will only continue to make her and her music stronger.