Ashley Frangipane, or better known by her stage name Halsey, is an American singer and songwriter from Washington, New Jersey. Like many musicians from this modern day and age, she began posting covers to YouTube before she got discovered and was signed to Astralwerks Record Label. From there, Frangipane released her debut EP Room 93 in October of 2014. Badlands is her debut studio album and was released August 28, 2015.
Halsey first released music through online music sharing platforms like SoundCloud and YouTube. The 20 year-old musician has said to be influenced by artists like The Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, The Cure and Nirvana. In 2014, she was signed to her first record label Astralwerks and later that year released her EP Room 93 which featured well-liked songs like “Hurricane” and “Ghost”. After the release of Room 93, she went on to tour with acts like alt-rock band Imagine Dragons, The Kooks, and Young Rising Sons. Halsey also performed at the music festivals South By Southwest, Lollapalooza, Hangout, and Firefly. Before the long awaited Badlands was released, it was leaked a week before the actual release date. Badlands, debuted at number 2 on the Billboard Top 200, when it was officially released.
The standard edition of the album contains 11 tracks written by Frangipane herself. Many of the songs on the album including “Colors”, “Roman Holiday”, “Castle”, “Hold Me Down”, and “New Americana” were performed before the release of the album on the “Smoke + Mirrors Tour”, while supporting Imagine Dragons. Both “New Americana and “Hold Me Down” came out as singles before the release and immediately became fan favorites. The “New Americana” dropped last week on September 25th. “Colors” is one of Halsey’s most popular songs and the studio version of it is even better than the original. The track sounds a lot more polished than the original and shows how Halsey continues to strive for better pop music. A lot of these songs have pop vibes while still holding onto a slight alternative tinge. Halsey has said that this album is “an angry feminist record” and is very evident in songs like “Hold Me Down” and “Control”. New tracks on the album that were not released as singles or released unofficially include “Drive”, “Coming Down”, “Haunting”, “Control”, and “Young God”. The album ends with “Ghost” a song that was featured on Room 93 and was released through SoundCloud. The older track wraps up the album perfectly concluding the story told through each song on the record. Overall the album is a refreshing new take on pop music and was a great debut album. I can’t wait to see what else Halsey has in store for the future.