Powerful. Wonderful. Stuck in my head. Can’t stop listening. All of these phrases have been used to describe Halsey, mostly by yours truly, who spent a fair amount of her summer break listening to her songs on repeat. The twenty-one year old artist, who released her debut EP (‘Room 93’) last year, invokes strong feeling with her strong voice and unusual song structure, spanning an entire arena of genres and tones in her music. The incredible diverse artist channels Adele in Trouble, sounds disturbingly similar to Ellie Goulding in Is There Somewhere, could pass off as Metric in Empty Gold, brings in dark pop with a surprisingly bright soundtrack with Ghost, and creates a sound of her own in Hurricane and New Americana.
Halsey, who opened for Imagine Dragons this past summer, has been generating a lot of news for someone who has yet to release an LP, or a full-length album (her debut album, Badlands, is due to release on the 28th of August). Apart from being vocally and musically diverse, her music also covers a range of themes, including sexuality, body image, social acceptance, and relationships. Her voice has an astonishing range in terms of tone – from soulful ballads such as Is There Somewhere, she can pull off the angry, abrupt vocals often associated with new wave (New Americana and Empty Gold), moving on to bouncy pop in the next song (Ghost). The songs on her EP, Room 93, all tell the same story in parts – the accompanying videos feature the same cast of characters and the progression in their relationships. Mostly associated with independent producers (even the most enterprising producer is reluctant to sign someone with simply a single EP to their name on to a big label), her music displays remarkable complexity and maturity.
All in all, Halsey is well worth a listen. Her first full-length album, Badlands, releases soon, and I, for one, can’t wait.