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Hayley Williams - Flowers For Vases/descansos

Flowers For Vases/descansos album cover
Flowers For Vases/descansos Album Cover

Hayley Williams has just released a new album after only a small build up and only announcing and confirming the album yesterday. The build up to the album was not long but was probably one of the most creative ways I have seen an album announcement recently. The first thing I saw was when there was a website with nothing but the descansos artwork image and a snippet of a song being played by Hayley Williams. A few of these kept appearing over time and then fans started receiving doll limbs in the post with notes signed by Williams. Now we know that was alluding to the title of My Limb.

After that, on the night of the wolf moon Hayley Williams hand delivered a burnt CD of the song My Limb with note, to a fan in Nashville telling her that she could share the song if she wanted to. Over the last week or so then there has been some more teasers shared and on Thursday the album Flowers For Vases/ descansos was confirmed and released today.

I listened to the album for the first time last night, as it dropped. I had been way too excited for it all day to wait until the morning, and I am so glad I did. This album is really intimate and so listening to it late at night makes everything seem so much more. I instantly fell in love with most of the songs and have had it on repeat all day.

Hayley Williams has said that this album is not really a follow up to Petals For Armor, but more of a prequel or a detour between parts 1 and 2 of Petals. That seems fitting given the style of the album. Lyrically I feel it matches Petals For Armor well as the same themes run through the album, however musically it is different. Hayley Williams performed everything you hear on this album herself. This means that the album is more acoustic based than most of Petals For Armor, though there are some moments where you see the same ideas like in the song My Limb. It’s way less dance-y than Petals For Armor as well, so don’t go expecting that from Flowers For Vases.

This album was recorded in her home in Nashville over lockdown and is definitely an introspective look at things that Williams feels she was forced to think about or feelings she had to let out into the world to finally let go. It’s a deeply reflective album, about her past relationships and maybe why they failed or the heartbreak she was still feeling about certain aspects of them.

Hayley Williams photographed by Lindsey Byrnes

“The ways I’ve been given time (forcibly, really) to stew on certain pains long enough to understand that they in fact, need to be released… indefinitely. I may never have been offered such a kindness; an opportunity to tend to the seeds I’d planted, to harvest, and to weed or prune what is no longer alive, in order to make space for the living.”

I honestly love every song on this album, there’s not a song here I don’t like. I love the whole feeling of the album. I like how the piano plays more of a role here than it did on Petals For Armor as well, it makes for some really interesting layers in the songs like on Asystole or Good Grief, and for songs like KYRH which has one of the most beautiful instrumentals on the album. Obviously this has to do with the fact that Williams plays the whole album herself and piano is one of the instruments she is most comfortable playing. I think it’s really cool that she’s decided to play everything herself, as it’s not something we see a lot from her as she doesn’t really play much when she’s on stage with Paramore and I feel like maybe not a lot of people know that she does play these instruments. I think the whole albums sounds great and she has done a great job there, but that’s not a surprise to anyone.

Hayley Williams making Flowers For Vases/descansos
Hayley Williams making Flowers For Vases/descansos

I didn’t think we would ever get something more personal from Williams after Petals For Armor last year, especially since the last Paramore album After Laughter was also deeply personal for her and the band. It’s like more walls are falling and Williams is feeling a lot more comfortable sharing this pain with others, instead of holding it all in. I read something by someone after they had heard the album and they said that it was as if Williams had just sung her personal journal to all of us. It’s such a raw album and it really pays off.

I would really recommend giving this album a listen, even if you haven’t heard Paramore’s music or even Petals For Armor. It’s definitely worth your time and it’s hard for me to even tell you what my favourite songs are because I like them all so much. I didn’t want to do a complete analysis of this album like I usually do for album reviews, as I think it’s something that you need to listen to to understand and I hope that you’ve enjoyed this slightly different review, or at least made you intrigued to listen to the album. I think I’m still processing the album so I don’t want to write something or say something now that isn’t how I will feel later on.

Hayley Williams photographed by Lindsey Byrnes
Hayley Williams photographed by Lindsey Byrnes

Thank you for reading my ramblings today, until next time…

Listen to Flowers For Vases/descansos on Spotify here.

Follow Hayley Williams on Instagram here.

Follow After Midnight on Instagram here.

Follow After Midnight on Facebook here.

Follow me on Spotify here.

Follow me on Instagram here.


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