Welcome to the Badlands

By: Galilea Oregon

Up and coming American singer and songwriter Ashley Frangipane, better known as Halsey, has recently released her debut album Badlands. Her music consists of a unique indie, electro pop sound, accompanied by gritty and raw lyrics that transport you into the mind of an angsty young woman. Similar to 90’s grunge band Nirvana, Halsey’s powerful music is at the start of a revolution including artists such as Melanie Martinez and Twenty One Pilots.


Growing up, Halsey had musical roots, originally playing the violin, viola, and cello until she moved on to playing acoustic guitar at the age of fourteen. Around the age of eighteen, Halsey began using her talent as a musician to pay her rent. She took various stage names in the many acoustic shows she played in until she finally chose the name Halsey, an anagram of her real name. After posting cover songs on YouTube, Halsey began to gain attention. She then recorded the original version of “Ghost,” a track included on Badlands and posted it on SoundCloud. This song led to a signing with Astralwerks record label. Halsey then released her debut studio album Badlands on August 28th 2015.

Her moving lyrics in Badlands are reminiscent of fragments of love letters. This wishful romance is illustrated in “Drive,” “Your laugh echoes down the hallway/ Carves into my hollow chest/ Spreads over the emptiness/ It’s bliss”. She takes the emotions of a young romance and transforms it into something as innocent and light as how the laugh of a lover infatuates someone. However, Halsey’s music is not just about being in love. “Gasoline” depicts her struggle with bipolar disorder as well as the pressure of her sudden fame, “And all the people say/ ‘You can’t wake up, this is not a dream/ You’re part of a machine, you’re not a human being/ With your face all made up, living on a screen/ Low on self esteem, so you run on gasoline”. Badlands  is the epitome and manifestation of young romance and teenage angst compiled into a mixtape for everyone to enjoy. 

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