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Hayley Williams Flowers Through Her Second Album

Hayley Williams released her album “FLOWERS for VASES / descansos” on February 8th by surprise and has received great reviews from fans and listeners worldwide. This is her second solo album since the release of “Petals for Armor” in 2020, which was her first album since Paramore’s hiatus. “FLOWERS for VASES / descansos” is a product of an emotional journey after she experienced heartbreak and learned to prioritize solitude. The album was entirely written and played by Williams, and she created it during quarantine in 2020. Through folky guitars and delicate vocals, Williams tells a story of self-discovery and heartbreak on this moving album. 

The album starts with “First Thing to Go” which is a song about losing someone you love over time. It marks the beginning of Williams’ loss, and signifies the first moment she realized her lover had left. On her first album, she discusses her heartbreak over her ex-husband Chad Gilbert, and fans had questioned if this song was written for him or her new love interest. 

Following this song are a mix of melodies discussing loneliness and grief. Williams uses a variety of soft and sharp vocals to represent the emotion of each song. The songs “Trigger”, “Aystysole”, “KYRH”, and “Wait On” emphasize acoustic strings and soft-singing. In contrast, “My Limb”, “Over Those Hills”, and “HYD” are driven more towards anger and roughness but still follow the soft structure of the album. 

The song “Find Me Here” and “descansos” are more uplifting and calming, which is fitting for their themes of hope. Williams ends the album with “Just a Lover”, which is a powerful song discussing William’s dread of failed relationships. She comes to terms with her romantic side in this song, and emphasizes that time and self-love will heal her. The song rips with an edgy guitar and louder vocals, and it leaves the listener with closure on the album’s journey. 

Fans theorize that the album is a mix of songs about her ex-husband Chad Gilbert and possibly about her bandmate Taylor York. Though Williams is open about her life and song meanings, she has never explicitly talked about who her love interest for both albums are, and intends to keep this side of her life hidden. 

The album has received appraisal for its raw and honest lyrics and intensity. It was at the top of the charts for the first week of its release, and beat Taylor Swift’s “Evermore.” Williams is blooming with both albums and even plans to release another EP soon with songs that did not make it on this one. If you want an album to help you rediscover what romance and self-love means, this one is your best bet.

Natalia Duron is a Journalism major with a minor in Film Studies and Communication Studies. She enjoys writing, drawing, reading, and listening to all genres of music. As a coffee lover, she loves to try new coffee recipes and visit local cafes.
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