Every few months there comes along a new artist who’s touted as the ‘Next Big Thing in Music’. Ashley Frangipane, better known by her stage name Halsey, is that and much more. When you listen to the young New Jersey-born musician, you can hear the grandiose statements it’s trying to make while still remaining incredibly personal.
With her debut album ‘Badlands’ out this week, here’s three reasons why she should be your favourite already:
The young 20 year old isn’t just masterful at writing heart-wrenching lyrics but also binds it up in haunting, subtle melodies around concepts that will make you change your perspective. Calling her a provocateur won’t be unfair since she proclaims herself as one. From the lyrics of her breakout single “Ghost” (I like the sad eyes, bad guys/ Mouth full of white lies/ Kiss me in the corridor/ But quick to tell me goodbye) to the less melodious, more conceptual sound of her latest release “Drive”, everything this aqua-haired woman does is bound to make people look up and pay attention. Billboard describes the vibe of her music as combining, “.. the synthy darkness of Lorde, the neon-pop chutzpah of Miley Cyrus and the flickering film noir of Lana Del Rey.”
It takes guts to be a beginner in a cut-throat industry and proclaim yourself as ‘inconvenient’, but Halsey is abrasively real, if not anything else. She isn’t everyone’s dream version of the popstars we’re accustomed to- the much-adored, clean, easy to market over-the-top celebrities that media laps up nowadays. Halsey’s past has been shrouded with drug abuse and severe issues with her mental health, something she isn’t afraid to speak out about. She recently took on the New York Times for what she called a blatant misquote in her interview about “identifying as a tri-bi” (bisexual, biracial, suffering from Bipolar Disorder). The singer says that’s who she is, not something she ‘identifies’ as. It’s a strong statement to make against a giant publication, but not something she’s unused to.
Her debut album:
Badlands, that released on August 28, is one of those records that send you exactly to the mind-space it was meant to. Written as a concept record, ‘Badlands’, is a collective name of a fictional dystopian setting inspired by mega cities like Las Vegas and Tokyo- the hub of life but also power-structures and hedonism. If that doesn’t make you curious, the few songs already released as singles from the album- “Ghost”, “Hold Me Down”, “Drive” and “New Americana” should.
Image Credits: Billboard.com