(Words and Photos By: Beatrice Hanley)
Indie-Pop singer Halsey has built her reputation on no holds barred honesty in her lyrics. Her dedication to her fans has led her social media following to triple in size over the last few months. In less than a year, she has gone from posting demos on the Internet, to selling out a headlining tour and has since been invited to join The Weeknd on tour this winter. I was lucky enough to see her this week at an intimate venue (The Phoenix Theatre) as I am fairly certain that with the way things are going, her next headlining tour will be in arenas.
Priding herself on open and honest lyrics, her songs are relatable to her growing fan base of mainly teens and young adults. She discuses topics like heartbreak, mental health and comments on today’s society. Her anthem, “New Americana,” has been getting lots of attention lately from critiques and fellow musicians.
Each song is written in a visually stimulating way. “Colors,” for example, tells the story of a bad boy who could not be tamed and is ultimately leading himself down a dangerous path. His self-destructive ways and instability broke her heart but she still cares about him deeply. The imagery and descriptive words she uses to paint these stories are what truly makes her unique.
For having just turned 21, it’s clear that Halsey is wise beyond her years. The singer’s angsty and edgy lyrics are one thing when heard on the album recording but an entirely different experience when being belted out by a room full of teens. There was not one song that people didn’t know the lyrics to, word by word.
“Gasoline” was especially powerful when performed. It’s never been one of my favourites until now. Hearing it live and the energy of the crowd during it gave me an entirely new appreciation for the song.
Older songs off her EP like “Ghost” and “Is There Somewhere” were my favourites to hear. She sings with a sort of melancholy in her voice while still being energetic and strong. I was sad when her 45-minute set ended but she came out and chatted with people afterwards, reassuring everyone around that she is just as down to earth as portrayed in her lyrics.
With her current stint on tour with The Weeknd and Justin Bieber announcing a collaboration, Halsey is definitely an up and coming artist to look out for these days!