It’s official, Halsey has arrived, and her explosive comeback is not a force to be reckoned with. She is back and is hungry for power.
Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, commonly known in the music world as Halsey, saw great success with the first three records she released since breaking out into the mainstream in 2015. Now the ‘Without Me’ pop star is pulling out all the stops.
The 26-year-old shook up the entertainment industry on 7 July 2021, when American singer-songwriter and mother-to-be unveiled her fourth album cover in the most extraordinary way possible.
In a silent demonstration, Halsey is seen as a fierce Madonna figure dressed in golden honey-combed drapes and a scaled silver bathing suit. She exposes her first baby bump and walks her online audience around the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.
As she elegantly roams around the rooms looking for inspiration, Halsey pauses by famous paintings such as Guido Reni’s “Charity,” which depicts the virtue of a woman holding and breastfeeding three children.
Next, she walks to a section of the museum housing paintings depicting the Madonna and child, including “Virgin and Child with Saint Catherine of Alexandria” by Anthony van Dyck.
As the video comes to an end, the announcement and her album cover are revealed.
The iconic photograph, taken by Luca Garrido, features herself sitting on a glorious golden throne whilst holding a baby with one side of her chest exposed.
On her Instagram account, Halsey teased her fans with the punk rock album called “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power,” which is set to be released on August 27.
This is a deviation from her previous albums, which have largely been pop. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have served as producers on this album. The album is seemingly an important one for the Grammy-award singer, with her being pregnant after several miscarriages in the past.
“This album is about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth. It was imperative to me that the cover art conveyed the sentiment of my journey over the past few months – the dichotomy of the Madonna and the Whore” – Halsey.
Halsey goes on to say:
“The idea that me as a sexual being and my body, as a vessel and gift to my child are two concepts that can co-exist peacefully and powerfully. My body has belonged to the world in many different ways over the past few years, and this image is my means of reclaiming my autonomy and establishing my pride and strength as a life force for my human being.”
The cover image celebrates pregnant and postpartum bodies as something beautiful to be admired. But provocative as she is, the American-born star is simply doing things the way she wants to do things, with determination and empathy.
The Queen is simply celebrating her mind, body and soul as she embraces new themes of control, body horror, autonomy and conceit. On 10 August, Halsey revealed that her 13-tracked new personal record would not have any guest features.
“It feels very cool to have an album with no features again. It felt like this had to be entirely from my voice. I can’t wait for you to hear everything.”
The hinting began when fans of the star were sent postcards in the mail that were all blank apart from a wax seal that had “H4” stamped into them.
Not only will fans be waiting for the album to release this week, but an hour-long film of the same name will include songs from the album. It will be airing on select IMAX theatres in the US on August 25 and internationally on August 26 for one night only.
Book your tickets while you still can here.
Written by Halsey and directed by Colin Tilley, the idea was to create an incredible period piece that is equal parts embodying themes of sensual and sinister.
After officially cancelling her tour earlier this year due to the Coivd-19 pandemic, Halsey has made an impressive turnaround.
Only time will tell, as the release date is just inches away.