Hayley Williams - 'Flowers For Vases / descansos'

8/10

Given the amount of buzz and content that she shared in the lead up to last year's incredible solo effort 'Petals For Armor', it seems very unusual that she would keep this record completely quiet until its release. Throughout the beginning of 2020, Hayley Williams was dropping a non-stop conveyor belt of preview singles before finally unveiling her widely-praised debut album, but the surprise unveiling of this follow-up shouldn't be treated as an afterthought. In fact, from the very beginning, it is clear that 'Flowers For Vases / descansos' is some kind of companion piece, we just aren't quite sure what yet.

In the press release for this album, she describes this collection as "a prequel, or some sort of detour between parts 1 and 2 of Petals", which shows that these songs were still very much a part of the writing process she was under on her last full-length. And that direction shows on numerous cuts, but still has this distinctly different agenda to it. While 'Petals For Armor' showcased her as a bright and vibrant name arriving on the alt-pop scene, this new release shows her in a far more traditional light as she adopts a folkier and more ethereal avenue to take her music down.

It may not have had the same fanfare as her last work, but 'Flowers For Vases / descansos' manages to successfully continue the path of her recent material, while also showing us a newer and more delicate side to her sound. Hayley Williams is clearly set to be a huge name outside of Paramore in the years to come, and this new offering is just fuel to that ever-burning fire to break away from her formative roots.

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