Looking back at the top 10 tracks of Halsey, including collaborations, and her ability to create an impression and connect with her audience.
Halsey’s Top Ten Tracks
Still early in her career, Halsey’s already racked up an impressive number of sales and streams. Here are ten of her best tracks to date, including milestone hits and collaborations.
- Strangers (featuring Lauren Jauregui)
From the second studio album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, Strangers has something of a 1980s heartbeat running through it, from the drums to the echoing synth sounds. Longing and loneliness linger in the lyrics, which focus on two women and their feelings for one another. Same-sex love songs remain a relative scarcity, perhaps surprisingly so, and combining that with the nostalgic 1980s undertones helped created a unique single.
Also from the second album, and with a remix version featuring American rapper Big Sean and British rapper Stefflon Don, Alone tells the story of a social butterfly at a house party. This theme is strongly represented in the accompanying video which sees Halsey attending a masquerade ball, becoming distraught as she spies an ex with his new squeeze. The remix is particularly interesting as the multiple featured artists help to create an ensemble sound that matches the song’s narrative.
- Without Me
Without Me was a milestone single for Halsey, marking the first time she topped the Billboard Hot 100 as the lead artist (having previously done so contributing to The Chainsmokers’ Closer). It was also the lead single from her third album, Manic, and the bridge includes the pre-chorus from Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me A River. Although frequently assumed to be about her breakup with the rapper G-Eazy, Halsey herself has indicated Without Me isn’t about a single relationship but draws from various (including splitting from G-Eazy). Raw emotions, toxic relationships, and the immediacy of heartbreak helped make this one of her most enduring singles.
For the video of Without Me, Halsey filmed a vertical mobile music video in a classic example of an artist forging a closer sense of connection with fans by engaging in the kinds of things everyday people do. Mobiles are being used more and more in that kind of way, including sports betting and online casinos, and these mobile no deposit bonuses are worth a look if you’re into that sort of thing.
From Halsey’s second album, Sorry is a ballad brimming with emotion and revolves around the difficulty of psychological distance caused by fear of opening up and getting hurt. Halsey apologizes to those she never let in, and those she didn’t treat as well as she might. The song has a more sombre tone than many of her tracks, an impact augmented by the piano and vocal combination that adds an air of straightforward sincerity.
- Alanis’ Interlude
The Manic album is an eclectic mix of a genre-defying smorgasbord of artistic expressions, and one of the most idiosyncratic singles is Alanis’ Interlude (featuring Alanis Morissette). This bisexual anthem of acceptance is a classic Halsey track, combining the authenticity of personal experience with a readily accessible message and smooth combination of immediate lyrics, earworm chorus and relaxing beats.
- Eyes Closed
Hopeless Fountain Kingdom’s first promotional single was Eyes Closed, which was written by Halsey and The Weeknd. This heartfelt ballad with synth tones deals with the difficulty of moving on when relationships end. The darker feeling and lyrics (“But he’ll never stay, they never do”) underline the grim flipside of love: when it ends and there’s nothing but a shadow left. Not cheerful, but it packs an emotional punch.
Perhaps a bit of a cheat but Closer, while not a pure Halsey track, was critical for her career thanks to the success of this collaboration with The Chainsmokers which became her first number 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 (and stayed there for months on end). The lyrics were co-written by Halsey and recall a pair of exes meeting by chance. The instantly memorable chorus and upbeat sound provide a window of escapism for listeners.
Harking back to her debut album (Badlands), Colors, has stood the test of time and has a quarter of a billion streams on Spotify alone. The lyrics of this electropop track were written by Halsey and Dylan Bauld, but much of them were originally composed by the artist as a poem when she was 17. The name is derived from the feeling of vibrancy that can be lost when a loved one starts losing themselves to one vice or another, losing their true colors. This theme is echoed in the music video, which features low color saturation and has an innocent yesteryear feel to it.
- New Americana
Another electropop entry from Badlands, Halsey’s hit New Americana describes the way that once forbidden behaviours and outlier attitudes (such as support for gay marriage) have been widely accepted in the country today. The vocal layering provides a distinctive chorus, and the dystopian video provides a piquant juxtaposition to the optimistic lyrics.
Halsey fans might also be interested in Marc Almond’s latest album, Chaos and a Dancing Star. The album was made in collaboration with Chris Braide, who has worked with other top artists including Halsey.
- 11 Minutes
A collaboration between Halsey and English musician Yungblud, 11 Minutes also features Blink-182’s Travis Barker. This musical threesome put together a video that recalls the five stages of grief from denial through to acceptance, accenting the slow grades of mourning through clever use of color and speed before the music fades to prolonged silence. Grief, loneliness, and coping with mortality have been universal themes in human culture, all the way back to the Epic of Gilgamesh, so it’s unsurprising this song has meant to much to so many of Halsey’s fans.