Song of the Day #2,640: ‘New Americana’ – Halsey

halsey_badlands[Note: This post was supposed to go live before the one about my 9 year-old’s Belgian DJ discovery]

I’ve always discovered new music through magazines and websites, and occasionally because I’ll hear something out in the world and decide to track it down later.

But as my daughters have gotten older, they’ve increasingly become a source of new musical leads. I can thank my 13-year-old, Sophia, for bringing Lana Del Rey to my attention, for example, and now I’m a bigger fan than her.

Sophia has now more or less moved on from Del Rey. I don’t know if it’s a trait of hers or something typical of her age group, but she is quick to latch on to a new artist and just as quick to cast one aside. A song that’s on repeat for weeks will suddenly never be heard again.

Her current obsession is Halsey, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter out of New Jersey who made her name on YouTube and recently released her debut album, Badlands. Halsey strikes me as a mix between Lorde and Ellie Goulding with a dash of Del Rey for good measure. Sophia dismisses all comparisons, insisting Halsey is a true original.

I wish I could muster the same level of enthusiasm, but what I’ve heard of Badlands has left me lukewarm. I don’t hear enough of an original voice to draw me closer.

I do like ‘New Americana,’ the record’s second single. It’s a perceptive look at the diverse millennial generation. The mixed-race Halsey was “raised on Biggie and Nirvana,” which is probably typical of many young men and women regardless of their racial makeup. Another verse describes a gay football player imagining his wedding to a teammate.

I’m not sure how I feel about my 13-year-old singing along about getting “high on legal marijuana,” but when I recall the Pink Floyd heroin lyrics I memorized at her age I figure that’s just fine.

[Verse 1]
Cigarettes and tiny liquor bottles
Just what you’d expect inside her new Balenciaga
Viral mess, turned dreams into an empire
Self-made success, now she rolls with Rockafellas

[Pre-Chorus]
Survival of the richest, the city’s ours until the fall
They’re Monaco and Hamptons bound
But we don’t feel like outsiders at all

[Chorus]
We are the new Americana
High on legal marijuana
Raised on Biggie and Nirvana
We are the new Americana

[Verse 2]
Young James Dean, some say he looks just like his father
But he could never love somebody’s daughter
Football team loved more than just the game
So he vowed to be his husband at the altar

[Pre-Chorus]
Survival of the richest, the city’s ours until the fall
They’re Monaco and Hamptons bound
But we don’t feel like outsiders at all

[Chorus]
We are the new Americana
High on legal marijuana
Raised on Biggie and Nirvana
We are the new Americana

[Bridge]
We know very well who we are
So we hold it down when summer starts
What kind of dough have you been spending?
What kind of bubblegum have you been blowing lately?

[Chorus – Extended]
We are the new Americana
High on legal marijuana
Raised on Biggie and Nirvana
We are the new Americana

We are the new Americana (we know very well)
High on legal marijuana (who we are)
Raised on Biggie and Nirvana (so we hold it down)
We are the new Americana

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,640: ‘New Americana’ – Halsey

  1. Dana says:

    Well, you could have a kid listening to and reciting Childish Gambino.😄

  2. Peg says:

    Interesting song and she has a good voice; also she’s very pretty

  3. Peg says:

    also, you have to remember that the Childish Gambino helped get the Martian home 🙂

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