Halsey's latest single provides a more country look at the world, with toe-tapping beats and a duality presented in both lyrics and music video
The fourth single released from her upcoming album Manic, Halsey brings listeners a calmer experience than other singles such as ‘Without Me’. With a light backing track and an acoustic guitar ‘Finally // Beautiful Stranger’ uses its lighter feel to bring a country touch to the lyrics. It was only after listening to the track a couple of times (read: consecutively for an hour) that I realised what it reminded me of: ‘You and I’ by Lady Gaga. The melody is rather similar but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The music video swaps between Halsey performing in two very different locations: an empty and dimly lit bar to a buzzing and a sold-out audience in the same location, with coloured lights and a completely different feel. The duality brings different meanings to the lyrics – from a face value tale about two strangers meeting into something else.
With the album itself reportedly based around Halsey’s outward thoughts on the world, we could read the song as internal vs external perceptions of people; we put on a mask/fake smile and be surrounded by people, but when it fades the room is empty. The distance between people – these “beautiful strangers” – mark a central point for the song and the video.
Nevertheless, the single is great to listen to; something you could replay three, four, five times consecutively and not get bored of. It had me itching to pick up my own acoustic guitar and play along. It’s the style of music you could see being played in a bar like the music video shows, and it beautifully showcases the true raw power of Halsey’s vocals.
Manic is released on January 17th 2020 via Capitol Records. Watch the music video below: