In recent years, women of the indie pop genre have ruled the radio airwaves: from Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness to Lorde’s Royals and every chart-topper in between, the atypical female voice has most definitely taken center stage.

Enter Halsey: the newest female solo act in indie-pop. A rebel with a sold-out tour and a string of festival performances under her belt, this girl has hit the coast of modern pop music like a hurricane.

Halsey performing at Lollapalooza 2015

The word “hurricane” is used sparingly in comparison to the amount of times it is sung on Halsey’s newest LP, Badlands. Hailing from New Jersey (a state renowned for the influential musicians that it produces, mostly rock like outfits Bon Jovi, The Misfits, and more recently My Chemical Romance), 21-year old Ashley Frangipane performs under the anagrammatic stage name Halsey and “writes songs about sex and being sad.” Badlands lives up to this statement: it’s a record that exposes the dark side of teenagehood, full of emo lyrics set to rap beats, made for the kids who feel misunderstood and underrepresented in contemporary culture – those who seek out songs to soothe their pain. And considering her Instagram following of over a million people, it’s quite obvious that there are plenty of kids out there who are eager to listen.

Badlands takes the listener on a ride, through personal narratives of failed relationships and songs personifying the naivety of young love. Comparing herself to a “hurricane” is one of the many allusions Halsey makes throughout the record, which has euphoric highs bookended by self-loathing lows, a spectrum that we all fall on during our lives and can therefore relate to while taking in her electronic, ethereal beats. The latest single to be released off of the album is titled New Americana, and can be listened to here:

With recording an album and maintaining social media dominated, Halsey’s live show is just another item on the list of things that she’s mastered: with an energetic stage performance, supposedly inspired by that of Adam Lazzara of Taking Back Sunday, she bounces around the stage and dances in a Lorde-esque fashion, with flailing body parts that somehow work with the music. She swings her microphone and jumps off of amps, enticing the crowd and raising the energy as if to mimic the angst that can be felt in Badlands.  

You’ll be able to see her live antics for yourself if you hopped on the Halsey bandwagon before the rest of us and grabbed tickets to her 2, now sold-out, shows here in Chicago at the Vic at the end of the month. If you weren’t lucky enough, grab Badlands and give it a listen; you won’t be disappointed.


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