I am always in search of new music to listen to, whether it's a new musical or some obscure indie band that five people have heard of. I am constantly looking for something new to listen to.
Two weeks ago, I got my wish.
Ever wondered what the lovechild of Lorde and Lana Del Ray would sound like? Well, imagine no further!
I introduce you to Ashley Frangipane, the singer otherwise known by the anagram Halsey.
She hails from New Jersey, and is biracial. Her mother is Italian-American and her father is African-American. Music has always been in her blood, having played several instruments, such as the viola and cello.
Halsey's musical career started in 2014 when she began to cover songs and post them to YouTube. One song titled "Ghost," which was posted to SoundCloud, caught the attention of record label Astralwerks, who subsequently signed her. Soon after came her EP "Room 93," which contained five songs, including "Ghost."
Despite her relatively young age and even younger music career, Halsey has made a very big name for herself.
She was the most talked about person online at South by Southwest (SXSW) earlier this year, garnering national attention. In addition to that, she has also been on many tours, and even supported Imagine Dragons on their Smoke and Mirrors tour.
Halsey recently released her debut album, "Badlands," and there is nothing remotely bad about it.
The last few albums I have personally bought have nothing on this one. I have been listening to "Badlands" nonstop, and after a week, I am still not tired of it. All of the tunes, despite their dark tones, are engaging and very catchy.
This album is a concept album, a type I normally avoid, but it's not an in-your-face concept album. According to an interview with PopCrush, it's based on the idea of escaping a fictional society known as the Badlands, moving from "urban and trap-influenced tracks into more dreamy, ethereal material." It is categorize as indie-pop, and that is a suitable label.
She also discussed with PopCrush in the same interview what creating the album was like for her. "It’s definitely a new adventure for me. I found myself writing about things that were a little bit more recent, which was a new experience for me … tapping into things that just happened was kinda anxious, kinda therapeutic and kinda self-actualizing.”
I honestly cannot stop talking about how much I am in love with this album. It even appeals to my inner-feminist, especially with the first track, "Castle." Other songs from the album include "Ghost," "Hold Me Down," and the anthem tune "New Americana." All three are among my top favorite songs from "Badlands," but every song is phenomenal. Every song is jam-packed with fantastic lyrics and catchy beats.
While my words cannot properly convey how interesting and reflective the music and lyrics are, trust in the fact Halsey encapsulates what it means to be a millennial. She engages often with her fans on social media, especially Twitter. Her music discusses certain subjects like sex and drugs in a way not often found in other music, and while I won't say she glorifies them, I won't say she doesn't either. It's a study of our society's youth and the culture they exhibit, good and bad. She presents life, particularly hers, how it is with the good, bad, and ugly.
While it is not innovative to fuel your songs with personal experiences, I feel that it comes across more authentically from Halsey than artists like Lana Del Ray and Taylor Swift. That being said, everyone experiences life differently and this is just my personal opinion. Knowing that Halsey has battled bipolar disorder, I feel that some songs make more sense than they would have had I not known.
"New Americana" is the current hit making rounds - and had this album been released earlier before the start of summer, I firmly believe that this would have been the song of the summer, and this album more than likely the album of the summer.
So do yourself and your ears a favor and go out and listen to this album. I promise, you will love it.