Halsey : Coming of Age in the 21st Century

By: Jonas Poggi

Badlands is the debut album of up and coming singer Halsey. Halsey, a nineteen-year-old hailing from New York, sings about coming of age in the 21st century as a part of the millennial generation.

Following the release of her Room 93 EP late last year, her studio album Badlands was released in August. To promote the album, Halsey appeared as an opener for Imagine Dragons in the North American leg of their Smoke + Mirrors world tour.

Halsey signed her record deal after she posted the song “Ghosts” on Soundcloud. This gained her attention in the music industry, and she signed with the record label Astralwerks.

Although she may be repetitive at times, Halsey possesses a quality for the most part lost in pop music: individuality. Her sublime ability to weave the right words while singing about her life and the story of the millennial generation is the definition of individuality. Halsey is classified as an alternative artist on iTunes, but also includes the distinct beat found in pop as well as many aspects of hip hop. Halsey somehow combines the bass driven beat of pop music with many elements found in other genres of music, such as sampling everyday sounds such as starting a car in “Drive” as well as shifting between multiple instruments and beats in a single song. Halsey is not afraid to venture away from standard pop music, exploring these other genres.

Badlands is a concept album, telling the story of The Badlands, a dystopia that Halsey has created. Metaphorically, The Badlands represent Halsey’s mental landscape.  In her music, Halsey sings about her life and experiences growing up, unabashedly singing about love, sex, and drugs. She also sings about her life dealing with bipolar disorder, at times referencing her “demons.” Throughout the album, Halsey lightly touches upon larger issues like income inequality and sexism. Overall, Badlands is a uniquely diverse album, representing many different ideas and styles.

Halsey will begin her Badlands tour September 30, the day after her 21st birthday. The tour kicks off at the San Diego House of Blues. Later in the year, Halsey will open for The Weeknd in November.

Album: Badlands

Artist: Halsey

Genre: Alternative

Most popular song*: Hold Me Down

Personal favorite song: Roman Holiday

*Most popular song determined by top results on iTunes

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