On June 2nd, alternate-pop artist Halsey released her sophomore album Hopless Fountain Kingdom, a concept album describing a toxic relationship, and the process of leaving it. Following her album Badlands, Halsey dives into a new sound showing the emotion and the heartbreak that she endured.
HFK is Halsey's modern take on the Shakespeare classic Romeo and Juliet. In the tale of Solis and Luna, Halsey explains her journey through a toxic relationship as a Romeo (Luna) stuck with her Rosaline (Solis) instead of her Juliet. Her relationship became purely physical instead of an emotionally invested one. The story is told through the arrangement of the songs, beginning with her doubt of the relationship with "100 Letters", all the way to the breakup with "Hopeless."
Badlands was a musical adaptation of a state of mind, of Halsey's battle through bipolar. Her debut album was dark and intense, mimicking her long-fought conflict with her own mind. "The Badlands" is a state of mind, what she named the place where she felt she resided mentally. Halsey makes it clear that everything is a state of mind, and you are always able to change your mindset and your lifestyle, and this concept carries over into Hopeless Fountain Kingdom when she writes, "Perhaps hopeless isn't a place, nothing but a state of mind," in track 8, "Good Mourning." Feeling hopeless after a breakup is only a state of mind, something she was able to pull herself out of, and something she mentioned she fully escaped from with her writing.
This is not the only concept that carried over from her first album. Halsey mentioned that ideas not only cross between Badlands and Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, but also connect to her first body of work released, her Room 93 EP. She took to Twitter to shed light on some of these connections: "Luna is the moon, and the Sun is trying to make her different. 'Flew too close to the sun' got too attached to the Sun (Solis)," Halsey tweeted. She confirmed that Luna (Latin for moon) keeps changing - like the phases of the moon - because of Solis (Latin for sun) and that her song "Good Mourning" is about the loss of their moon Luna because she "flew too closely to the sun that's setting in the east," lyrics from another HFK track "Angel On Fire." After responding to fan predictions and putting in more insight of her own, Halsey tweeted one last hint: "Empty Gold: 'if the morning light don't steal our soul, we'll walk away from empty gold.' I'll let you figure that one out." So here I am to figure it out.
First I will mention that "Empty Gold" is a track from her first EP Room 93, an indication that the worlds of all three pieces truly do connect. Halsey revealed that Solis is trying to steal Luna's soul and "Good Mourning" is about how Solis succeeded in doing so. Since she described Hopeless Fountain Kingdom as a journey through a toxic relationship, then if the "morning light," (Solis = Sun and Halsey's partner) doesn't "steal our soul," i.e. doens't ruin and take away everything that she is - Halsey mentioned in an interview that this partner viewed her as someone who she actually is not - then "we'll walk away with empty gold." The beginning track "100 Letters" starts with Halsey singing "King Midas put his hands on me again." King Midas is a God in Greek mythology that turns everything he touches to gold, therefore if she "walks away from empty gold," then it must mean that she will walk away from the relationship, cleaned from the "gold" that "Midas" turned her into. In short, the line "If the morning light don't steal our soul, we will walk away from empty gold," must mean that if Halsey's toxic lover does not change her or take her away from her true self, then she will be able to walk away "untouched."
Halsey has created a multitude of universes through her ability to convey her emotions through songs, and while doing so she has connected these universes over a span of years and albums to better display herself to her fans and share her experiences with her fans.
A month after its release, Halsey's Hopeless Fountain Kingdom has become the first number one female album of 2017 and she has announced her 2017-18 world tour, featuring Charli XCX and PartyNextDoor. From the beginning of her journey in the Room 93 to her breakup in Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, Halsey has captured her audience and gained a following through her ability to lyrically sway an audience and to capture her feelings so articulately through her music.