Halsey Welcomes Fans to Her Hopeless Fountain Kingdom

June 5, 2017

Halsey fans will be pleased to hear that the alt-pop 22-year-old has a brand new album. hopeless fountain kingdom (spelled in all lowercase letters) has 16 songs total that encompass stories of love, destruction and seemingly all things in between. Since the release of her debut album Bandlands, she has come a long way from just listening to her favorite bands and mid-2000s albums. Now, she is creating musical worlds of her own.

Personally, I love the drama and the vivid, hard-hitting lyrics. Maybe it’s because I’m definitely such a drama queen; every story I tell is done in the most detail, with an inclusion of the most dramatic elements possible…which is kind of what she does, just in ways more musically inclined and skilled than I ever could.

I also appreciate the fact that she knows who she is and is not afraid to let everything know as well, whether that be through embracing her sexuality, spreading mental health awareness or making unique style choices (hair, clothing, etc.)

Before the album was released in full, Halsey had three songs available: “Eyes Closed,” “Now or Never” and “Strangers,” which features Lauren Jauregui of Fifth Harmony.

hopeless foundation kingdom starts with “The Prologue,” a dramatic reading of the prologue from Romeo and Juliet, in which two star crossed lovers fight all odds to be together, only to lose each other as well as their lives in the end. It’s a perfect fit for the breakup Halsey went through before the release of the album.

“It felt, in a way, like I was kind of killing off a version of myself, and I know that they had done the same, so Romeo and Juliet kind of came to mind,” Halsey said in response to a Twitter question about the theme, “because it’s like, if I had only let myself live, I could’ve made it work. I didn’t have to sacrifice everything.”

I think it works. Sure, she and her lover did not physically die, but the album as a whole tells a story of dark, wrong and somewhat twisted love, so there are certainly some parallels.

“Good Mourning” is an interlude with the same spoken word concept; it features the voice of a little boy who references Halsey’s fictional character known as Luna Aureum as well as lines from Romeo and Juliet that discuss swearing on the moon. The boy says, “They told me once, ‘Don’t trust the moon, she’s always changing. The shores bend and break for her, and she begs to be loved.'”

My personal favorite, “Sorry,” is arguably the most vulnerable and emotional song on the album (like I said, I love drama and emotion and everything in between). Halsey lets her voice shine through, giving the song less production than others and instead allowing a piano to help get the point across.

She sings, “So I’m sorry to my unknown lover / Sorry that I can’t believe that anybody ever really / Starts to fall in love with me.” It’s a sad tale of not having enough self love and too much doubt to truly welcome love from another person.

The album further includes a two more collaborations, one Quavo called “Lies” and one with Cashmere Cat called “Hopeless.” Additional songs “Bad at Love,” “100 Letters,” “Heaven in Hiding,” “Walls Could Talk,” “Angel On Fire,” “Devil In Me,” and “Alone” show that a focus on production as well as detailed, emotional storytelling are things Halsey holds dear to her heart.

Welcome to her hopeless fountain kingdom.

Stream the album on Apple Music or Spotify.

-Nisa Ayral (@nisaayral)

Feature Image by Leslie Crow

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