Halsey is the stage name of Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, an American singer-songwriter who has been active since 2012. Even though she has been around for just a single decade’s time, she can nonetheless claim multiple hits. Combined with other factors, these hits have enabled Halsey to sell more than 1 million of her rock and punk albums as of 2020, which is no mean achievement.
10. Hold Me Down
“Hold Me Down” was a promotional single released from the album Badlands. It was inspired by Halsey’s experience of meeting a group of old men who believed that they knew better than she did. However, one of them proved to be particularly memorable in a bad sense, with the result that “Hold Me Down” was specifically written about him.
“Castle” is a song off of Badlands. Later, it became strongly associated with The Huntsman: Winter’s War because it was re-recorded for the movie’s soundtrack. Something that enabled a somewhat different but no less interesting interpretation of its lyrics. After all, The Huntsman: Winter’s War is both a prequel and a sequel to its predecessor, which was its own take on “Snow White.” Under those circumstances, the lyrics take on new meaning, not least because the evil stepmother Queen Ravenna is an important character in both movies.
8. 100 Letters
Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is a concept album focused on gender-swapped Romeo and Juliet in a place that is somewhere between Heaven and Hell. Its first song is “The Prologue.” However, it is its second song “100 Letters” that serves as the truer introduction to the setting as a whole. Content-wise, it is quite interesting, not least because of its depiction of how even the mementos of a toxic relationship can be draining.
It is understandable for interested individuals to pay attention to how their favorite artists got started. In Halsey’s case, there is a well-known story about her posting a song about an ex called “Ghost” on SoundCloud, which got so many listens that multiple record labels approached her about a record deal. In other words, this is the song that got her professional career started, which makes it particularly wonderful that it continues to hold up well in the present time.
“Strangers” is a song that came out on Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. It is notable for featuring Halsey singing together with Lauren Jauregui, a singer-songwriter who started out in Fifth Harmony before embarking on a solo career. The choice of artist for the team-up was no coincidence. Halsey is bisexual. Similarly, Jauregui is also bisexual, thus providing the song with more of a sense of authenticity. Of course, it helps that the two’s voices paired so well in “Strangers.”
5. Experiment On Me
“Experiment On Me” is a song from the soundtrack for Birds of Prey in 2020. It is one of Halsey’s more aggressive songs, which made it well-suited for one of the more memorable fighting scenes in said movie. Besides this, she apparently quite enjoyed making the song as well because her co-writers were Oliver Sykes and Jordan Fish, the vocalist and keyboardist of British rock band Bring Me the Horizon. As Halsey tells it, she has been a fan of the band since she was approximately the age of 14.
4. Is There Somewhere
“Is There Somewhere” is one of the songs on Room 93, an EP that came out in October of 2014. It starts out on the slower side of things but builds up to a powerful conclusion, thus making it well-worth a listen. As for the subject, well, there have been rumors of the song being about Halsey’s relationship with another musician.
3. You Should Be Sad
Country music has earned a reputation for focusing upon bad relationships. As a result, it is perhaps unsurprising that when Halsey decided to write a song about a breakup involving an unfaithful ex, she created the country-influenced ballad while on her living room floor in Nashville, TN. “You Should Be Sad” doesn’t pretend to be anything that it is not. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to because it is one of the better examples of revenge in musical form.
“Nightmare” is a bit unusual in that it is a song released without being part of an album. For those who are curious, Halsey posted a link to a website prompting interested individuals to share their worst nightmares in May of 2019. Something that resulted in a lot of speculation about exactly when new music would be coming out. As it turned out, she performed a free show in Minneapolis on May 20 of 2019, in which she sang “Nightmare for the first time. After which, Halsey posted a video on YouTube, thus enabling other interested individuals to have a listen as well. Suffice to say that the song has proven to be one of her most intense releases so far. For that matter, its lyrics have become even more meaningful because of recent political events.
“Gasoline” comes from Badlands. However, it wasn’t on the standard edition. Instead, “Gasoline” was one of the songs added to the deluxe edition. In spite of this, the song proved to be very popular, as shown by how it reached close to 300 million streams on Spotify. Regardless, “Gasoline” is about Halsey feeling out of step with the rest of society because of her experience with mental health issues. Something that makes it an excellent representative of Badlands as a whole, seeing as how the latter is focused on a post-apocalyptic dystopia that serves as a kind of metaphor for Halsey’s own state of mind.