By Abby Hassler
Halsey dropped her highly anticipated second studio album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom album today (June 2).
The record features high-profile collaborations with The Weeknd, Sia, Migos’ Quavo, Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui, Cashmere Cat and many more.
Here are the five best songs from Hopeless Fountain Kingdom:
This duet with Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui is widely lauded as not only Halsey’s most daring single yet but her best to date. As Halsey and Jauregui are both openly bisexual women, the song touches on love and lust in a relationship between two women.
“I just love that Lauren and I are two women who have a mainstream pop presence doing a love song for the LGBTQ community. It’s unheard of. It’s very rare to see it from a female perspective,” Halsey remarked in a recent interview.
Jauregui seconded Halsey’s views, saying “It’s a whole space that no one’s ever really touched upon before, and I feel like representation in music is so important. And reality-wise, we’ve both been in the situation before with different people, so it’s cool to have that representation.”
“Now or Never”
As the lead single on her album, this song most heavily alludes to Baz Luhrmann’s modernized 1996 film Romeo and Juliet, which she previously said inspired much of the album. This song quickly shot to the top of the charts and drew comparisons to Rihanna’s “Needed Me” because of its sultry, slow build.
This track is the result of a collaboration with The Weeknd and showcases a side of Halsey many of her fans haven’t seen before. When the song dropped, Halsey revealed the song was about the struggles she encountered when leaving a toxic relationship. This brings much of the track’s stinging lyrics into perspective: “Now if I keep my eyes closed, he looks just like you/ But he’ll never stay, they never do.”
“Bad at Love”
If you want to hear Halsey belt it out and relieve past relationships, this song should be top of your list. In the track, she outlines all the reasons she is “bad at love,” but keeps persisting anyways. Much like “Strangers,” she continues to open up the scope of traditional heterosexual-themed pop music by alluding to same-sex relationships, singing, “Got a girl with California eyes/ And I thought that she could really be the one this time/ But I never got the chance to make her mine.”
“Devil in Me”
This track is Halsey’s first collaboration with Australian artist Sia and the influence clearly pays off. The song seems to be a darker-themed track, which speaks to the demons that live deep down within everyone. Despite the slightly melancholy tone, Halsey’s powerhouse voice shines through, making it an ideal choice for the second-to-last track on the record.