Halsey – Badlands
By Jillian Ramey
With the start of the new year soon approaching, musicians are spending their days and nights in the studio writing and producing new albums for their fan-bases. This past August, upcoming alternative solo artist Ashley Frangipane, going by her stage name Halsey, released her first debut album called Badlands. Halsey, at the young age of twenty one, can be easily recognized by her vibrant hair colors and bold, thought-provoking lyrics. She put her name on the charts in October of 2014 with her first and only EP, Room 93, showcasing her hardcore and independant characteristics through her tale-telling lyrics as well as her killer female vocals. This year Halsey’s fan-base has grown tremendously, partially due to her being the opening act on Imagine Dragon’s recent Smoke + Mirrors tour, as well as her close friendships with the boys of 5 Seconds of Summer and Twenty One Pilots. Each song that comes together to form Badlands reveals a different piece of a story about love, struggle, and the search for strength. The album begins with “Castle,” which alludes to more than meets the eye, or in this case, ear, accompanied by a dark vibe and an almost-techno beat. In this track Halsey sets the tone for the rest of the album by offering the audience a mysterious preface to the story. Tunes that follow such as “Hold Me Down”, “Control” and “Haunting” reveal fighting with an inner demon, which in our current teenage years, internal battles can be fought daily. Newly released single from the album, “New Americana,” confronts social issues of the generation that listeners can pinpoint her perspective on, such as drug abuse and homophobia. For Ashley Frangipane, this album is just the beginning of a bright future, with many more albums to come.
Finish Ticket – When Night Becomes Day
By Madison Schettler
If you’re looking for new music, the sophomore release of indie rockers, Finish Ticket is just for you. When Night Becomes Day is a five track EP which truly shows musical growth from the band’s first full length album, Tears You Apart, released in 2014. Comprised of California natives and teenaged friends, Finish Ticket have gained a small but enthusiastic fan base by opening for the likes of Ed Sheeran at his Hammerstein Ballroom show in 2014, and touring with band Twenty One Pilots this fall. The EP shows the band’s shift from a softer, more acoustic sound to a more hardcore, “rock n roll” type sound. It shows their growth, fearlessness and willingness to grow and change in their music. The tracks display indie, pop and rock influences, driven heavily by catchy guitar riffs. The lyrics are clever; sung coolly and skillfully by lead singer Brendan Hoye. They tell stories of the ups and downs of relationships, and the struggle of growing into adulthood. The combination of relatable lyrics and memorable melodies is what makes this EP so appealing. “Scavenger” starts the album off, and with its clean sounding vocals and heavy bassline, it immediately captivates. “Wrong” and “Color” follow, showing the band’s transformation with intense guitars and lyrics that are sometimes angry, sometimes inspiring. “When Night Becomes Day” is next: a track which sounds more like it belongs on Tears You Apart than any of the other songs on this EP.