This ‘Halsey’ article was written by Jack Liggins, a GIGsoup contributor

3.5*New Jersey- based singer Halsey professes ‘I’m headed straight for the castle’ in ‘Castle’, her first song from debut album BADLANDS. A confident statement by the 20 year old, who by the sounds of it, suggests that she’s only just getting started for the rest of her music career and that better things are to come. ‘Castle’ is a bold, dark and atmospheric song to begin the album with, setting the bar and tone for the coming songs. In fact, the song fits perfectly with the imagery of gearing yourself up for war. A triumph that Halsey is sure to win.

‘Hold Me Down’ and ‘New Americana’ demonstrates Halsey as an artist whose hard-hitting lyrics combined with dance like beats places her at the forefront of upcoming talent. The album has traits of female empowerment, a trait that has started to explode within the music industry, whether it be Beyonce or Lorde, Halsey is capitalising on these inspiring messages. ‘New Americana’ is an anthem that hipsters and teens of todays society will sure to empathise with and is easily the albums most radio friendly song. It name checks ‘Biggie and Nirvana’, both of whom she stated are huge influences when creating music. Halsey credits her mum for showing her Nirvana and her father for introducing her to Biggie; the unique combination of the two artists enables Halsey to create an authentic kind of style to her songs, making it very easy to recognise that this is Halsey and not some other run-of-the-mill pop starlet out there at the minute.

The album is full of stories and cleverly written lyrics, this is seen spectacularly in ‘Colors’, which details a relationship becoming void of everything that made it good. Full of symbolism and riddled with metaphors, it really sets an imagery in your head, therefore enabling you to relate if ever you’ve been through the same thing. She is upset, but she knows the way to overcome this sadness, and much alike Taylor Swift, she puts it in a song. Whoever broke her heart, will sure be regretting that one. ‘Drive’ takes a similar soft approach, the melodies that dress this song so well captivates your ears, and you’ll be wishing you were on a late night drive through the city by the end of it.

Honesty is a theme that seems to decorate every song in BADLANDS, and is demonstrated heavily in ‘Haunted’. The singer proves that, despite her impending fame, she still has the same problems as every single girl. The lyrics are so dark and raw that, as a result, they will ring true with every teenager the world over. The sinisterness of her lyrics are also interpreted in ‘Control’, a raw and emotional song that really orchestrates Halsey’s talent.

Halsey began her career through YouTube and eventually placed her own song ‘Ghost’ onto SoundCloud which instantly got the attention and recognition that she deserved. ‘Ghost’ is the final song on the album, and the only song to have been taken from her EP Room 93. ‘Ghost’ is moody and fiery. This last song is poignant, as it was the first one she put out to the world, therefore its inspiring that she has stuck to her guns, not letting the music industry break her down. The final lyrics are haunting, as they echo into silence, leaving you wanting more.

BADLANDS is a great debut album dripping in honesty, heartache and haunting lyrics. Halseys unique childhood and teenage years enables this collection to stand out, and the melodies that are provided compliment Halseys distinct tone spectacularly. The album changes more drastically than teenage mood swings and therefore can be hard to keep up with, but it is this ‘keeping you on your toes’ edge that enables you to keep persisting with it.

‘BADLANDS’ is out now on Astralwerks

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