It’s been seven months since American artist Halsey released her chart topping, stand-alone single, ‘Without Me’. Now she’s back with a growling empowerment anthem as a lead single for her upcoming studio album. Halsey’s ‘Nightmare’ is her latest release.

Instead of starting this new album cycle with a radio friendly tune, Halsey embraces her song-writing prowess and unleashes her anger in this pop-punk dream. ‘Nightmare’ explores different expectations that women are faced with today as well as Halsey’s place in the music industry. But in true Halsey fashion, each verse and chorus have multiple layers and don’t follow a traditional formulaic structure.

In terms of the sound, it’s a new genre for the singer. On her previous albums Badlands and Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, Halsey experimented with an alternative pop sound but in ‘Nightmare’ she combines elements from punk, rock and pop genres. But what makes the song truly unique, is the way all three genres merge seamlessly. For example, the chorus is heavy hitting with an emphasis on percussion and a rhythmic guitar but as soon as the verses hit, a synth and soft percussion take their place.

While the sonic elements are highlights of the track, it’s really the lyrics that steal the show. In the verses, Halsey sings about her frustration with stereotypes and maintains a stance against them. The pre-chorus echoes this stance with lines like, “I waited a while for a moment to say I don’t owe you a goddamn thing.” But once it gets to the chorus, Halsey makes it a point to use her platform by singing, “I keep a record of the wreckage in my life/I gotta recognize the weapon in my mind.”

Halsey Nightmare Music Video

The singer also dropped the music video for ‘Nightmare’ alongside the release. It’s a stellar production with Halsey leading her own revolution. She runs an all female mosh pit, breaks down the house wife archetype and embraces her sexuality through stunning cinematic scenes. Halsey has always been vocal about her stance on social injustice. ‘Nightmare’ and its corresponding video truly embodies this stance.

While a release date hasn’t been announced yet, the singer did confirm a third album will release in 2019. After the release of ‘Nightmare’, some fans have theorized and speculated October as the release month. Fans will have to wait and see to find out. If it’s anything like ‘Nightmare’, Halsey’s third album will be one of her best.

Listen to ‘Nightmare’ here.

Follow Halsey on Twitter.

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Vivien Topalovic