Do we got some news for you Halsey fans! Halsey’s album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power is on top of the world. Top of the music charts that is. The album has been ranked number one on Billboard’s Top Current Albums chart, marking their third time being on the list with their previous being Manic and Hopeless Foundation Kingdom. Not only that, but the album also topped Billboard’s Alternative Albums, Vinyl Albums, and Tastemaker Albums chart. And even more, the album got the number one spot on Spotify’s Top Ten Global Album Debuts list. What an achievement!
All this popularity, of course, just makes sense. After all, Halsey did release an IMAX visual film of the album back in August, which were sold out internationally and over 70 locations in just the U.S., spreading knowledge of their music quite around. Adding on to that fact, ‘I am not a woman, I’m a god’ became number one on the Most Added at Top 40 list within the first week of playing on the radio. If you haven’t heard it, you should definitely go check out the music video, especially if you’re a fan of romantic gothic imagery!
Halsey clearly put their sweat, blood, and tears into this album and the film! So let’s give them their props and dive deeper into what it took to make this record.
The Contrast Between Art And Life
Recently Halsey had an interview with Apple Music in which they talked about their album and their experience making it while pregnant. Halsey admitted that If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power was the easiest album they’ve ever written. It’s one of the reasons why we can even listen to it in the first place.
But beyond that, Halsey mentioned how the timing of the album’s manifestation, like their other previous works, came at a juxtaposition in their life. The fury and punk rockness of the album just happened to come at a time Halsey was in love with their partner and finally pregnant.
The Deeper Meaning In Their Album
Speaking of pregnancy, the album’s theme actually revolves around that concept. Sort of. See, Halsey’s pregnancy was part of the inspiration of their album but it was through how society views pregnancy specifically.
Halsey puts this view as the idea of Madonna and the Wh*re. To chalk it up, basically, Madonna is the idea of motherhood. Think maternal, motherly, and caring. Meanwhile, the latter is someone who society views as sexually desirable. As such, society views the Madonna and the Wh*re roles as rigid, not able to cross each other.
If you know Halsey, they are not really down for rigid societal and gender expectations. So the album’s creation was in opposition to that. Halsey wanted to say that being pregnant does not mean being one or the other, but rather they, and anyone pregnant, can be both desirable, married, and maternal. Adding on to that, Halsey wanted to encapsulate the dark side of pregnancy as well as bring in the horror element of the album. While the experience of pregnancy can be joyful for others, Halsey mentioned that for others it can be a nightmare.
The Story Behind The Collaboration
Fun fact if you didn’t know this already, but Halsey loves them some Nine Inch Nails! Halsey actually has been wanting to work with Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor since they made Badlands. Do you know how far back that was! Since, like, 2015! In an interview with Capital Studios, while sitting alongside Atticus and Trent, they admitted that Badlands’ sound was actually inspired by the two’s work.
So what gives? Why didn’t we see collab with them sooner? Well, Halsey was a little shy back then. However, when Halsey was working on If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power they wanted a specific type of sound to the album. Something dark, not necessarily horror exactly, but unsettling. And, Halsey knew just the people could produce it: Atticus and Trent.
So after making a connection through a mutual colleague, Halsey took the chance and wrote a letter to the men asking for their help. The result? Obviously, they said yes. On the flip side, Trent and Atticus both said they found the letter flattering and very authentic, showing Halsey truly valued their input. Trent and Atticus also found it inspiring that Halsey was willing to take a risk with their music and go experimental. All in all, the collaboration between the three seemed to be a simple case of “don’t be afraid to ask” which is a good lesson to learn from.
Halsey’s Hope For Fans
In their interview with Capital Studios, Halsey also expressed that their album had elements of punk rock, a genre she wanted to introduce to fans in the hopes that they’ll find new artists and new genres of music to explore. More than that though, Halsey’s hope is that their fans will trust them. Halsey hopes, with the support, they can one day make a record that has an impact on their fans, the same way Inch Nine Nails had an impact on Halsey. But, like, it’s just so sweet! Like aww, Halsey got us crying over here!
With all that said, if you wanna show Halsey some love you should stream their new album. We got you over here! And if you already did, what’s your favorite song? Did you also happen to catch the film too? Give us the tea over in the comments, or let us know on our Facebook and Twitter @thehoneypop!
Looking to keep up with some more artists? Say no more!
Featured Image Source: If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power Album Cover via Lucas Garrido