If you're going to hear any Halsey original in the wild (You know, any other song that isn't "The Feeling," her brilliant collaboration with Justin Bieber) its going to be "New Americana." Not only is the single one of her best tracks to date, it also operates as a call-to-action anthem for those of a certain age: "We are the new Americana / Raised on Biggie and Nirvana." The song really highlights what makes Halsey special: She's a pop star dedicated to reminding you that you're not alone.
Before "New Americana" was "Ghost," the lead single from her debut Room 93 EP, which also makes an appearance on her first studio album, Badlands. This is the moment Halsey diehards fell in love with her. The original version of the video features a heterosexual couple; the newer version shows two women embracing. It read taboo to mainstream media, but to Halsey, it was just another example of the boundaries she's always wanted to break.
The first listen of "Colors" will probably remind a few people of Taylor Swift's "Red." Tay sings on her Red title track, "Losing him was blue like I'd never known / Missing him was dark grey all alone / Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met / But loving him was red." In "Colors," Halsey sings, "You were red and you liked me 'cause I was blue / You touched me and suddenly I was a lilac sky / And you decided purple just wasn't for you." Both use a smart color metaphor, both are about a love lost...and both are huge fan favorites!
Halsey is pretty interested in concepts of control--a quality that probably helps her stay on the better side of the music industry. Though feminism might not be the main theme of "Control," it certainly feels that way...and it's catchy as hell:
I'm bigger than my body
I'm colder than this home
I'm meaner than my demons
I'm bigger than these bones
And all the kids cried out,
"Please stop, you're scaring me"
I can't help this awful energy
Goddamn right, you should be scared of me
Who is in control?
"Hurricane" is an older Halsey tune--one of the first she's ever written. It's most similar to "Ghost" than any of the songs on this list, but does a really good job of showing how brilliant she was from the very beginning. It details her life in Brooklyn as a teen: Polaroid cameras, drinking, homemade tattoos. Basically, she's always been a badass. And you can be one, too! Just click here.