Halsey is a singer you probably know best for being featured on the song “Closer” by the Chainsmokers. However, Halsey’s own music is so much more powerful and profound. Each of her EPs and albums so far have been conceptual, from Room 93 to Badlands, and now to her latest album, hopeless fountain kingdom, her best and most ambitious album yet.
Honestly, when I first heard the single “Now or Never” from hopeless fountain kingdom, I wasn’t impressed. I really love Halsey’s music, so if anything, I was disappointed. The video at least sets up the concept album, a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The album itself even starts with the prologue of the play.
Upon hearing one of the later singles, “Strangers” featuring Lauren Jauregui, I was in love. I will not go as far to say this is the first duet featuring two bisexual women of color singing as past lovers, because I do not know for sure, but I think this is fairly unprecedented territory.
— h (@halsey) May 26, 2017
The more I listened to hopeless fountain kingdom, it made more and more sense that this was not an album of singles, but a complete concept album that needed to be listened to in order. This album told a story, and one not far from Halsey’s actual life. The themes of forbidden love in the album were reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, but also could refer to the perception of Halsey’s very open bisexuality, as she discussed relationships with men and women in the same album. Again, listening to the album as a whole is very important to get the true message.
The album really becomes a masterpiece to me with the sequence of “Walls Could Talk,” “Bad at Love,” and “Strangers.” Though “Strangers” features fellow bi singer Lauren Jauregui, “Bad at Love” lyrically exudes bisexuality as the verses alternate between discussing male and female past lovers.
Though Halsey shouldn’t have to make an entire album dedicated to her bisexuality for it to be taken seriously, this should shush the critics who saw her public relationships and stage performances with men and tried to say she was not queer enough. Halsey is queer and here to stay – and slay. Just like she’s says on her website in her bio: “I am Halsey. I will never be anything but honest. I write songs about sex and being sad.”
You can check out Halsey’s music live at her concert on October 10th at PPG Paints Arena, and on various platforms including Spotify.
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