So far five songs have been released from Hayley Williams' debut solo album Petals for Armor, and now more beans continue to spill about the record, including this very exciting prospect: all three members of boygenius (Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus) will appear on it! Via The New York Times:
One of her confidants, the singer and songwriter Julien Baker, said she and Williams were bonded by “being raised culturally Christian in the South then coming into the world” of music. “She has an innate connection with the deeply emotionally profound and really wants to explore those things in an honest way with people,” Baker said in a phone interview. “But also she is a uniquely disarming person.” Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus — the trio boygenius — provide backing vocals on a “Petals for Armor” song about “wilted women” moving toward the light.
Hayley also revealed in that same interview that Paramore drummer Zac Farro plays on a few songs on Petals for Armor, and she said the following about the album's musical and lyrical influences:
At first, it wasn’t a project at all. “I really thought, I’m going to write a bunch of R&B songs for fun,” Williams said. She made [her Paramore bandmate and Petals for Armor co-producer Taylor] York a playlist of inspirations: Solange, SZA and Erykah Badu beside Thom Yorke and Björk. York, who hadn’t yet produced an album on his own — he’d assisted on the two most recent Paramore LPs — understood the gravity of the tracks as Williams kept writing. That didn’t help his anxiety, which manifested in panic and psoriasis.
“I had no idea what I was doing,” he said in a thoughtful, self-effacing phone call from Nashville in which he emphasized his longtime bandmate’s ability to access her truth: “It’s not like she uses pain as some sort of a gimmick or some sort of like a vehicle, just to get a good song. She really wants to say something.” Williams’s references “would kind of funnel through me in a very different way. Like when she says ‘Spice Girls,’ I somehow hear ‘the Knife.’”
[...] the anger that ignited “Petals for Armor” wasn’t limited to her own experience; it stemmed from generational trauma that Williams uncovered as the #MeToo movement was gaining steam. “Every woman in my family on my mom’s side” — a line of strong, impressive figures, she stressed — “they’ve all been abused in almost every sense of the word.” She realized that pain underpinned everything in her life: “I’ve always felt like something was wrong with me or I was an underdog or I had something to prove.”
The NY Times piece also promises that the next batch of songs from Petals for Armor is coming soon. Read more here. The full albums drops on May 8 via Atlantic, and Hayley is also planning to tour. Stay tuned!
UPDATE: Tour dates announced!
And here's that playlist of influences: