Halsey trades out her classic EDM-pop mystique for a darker take on romance on her latest single “Graveyard.” The song is yet another piece to her 2020 project Manic, following the release of “Without Me” last October. “Without Me” was hailed a contemplative rarity for Halsey, with emotional turmoil and heartbreak gripping every word under its ambient, techno-pop haze. Her split from G-Eazy coats every lyric, down to its “Cry Me a River” homage.
“Graveyard” radiates off this baggage. It trails over Halsey’s trials and tribulations in love, dusting a meditative film over her rumination of the past. Whereas “Without Me” highlights the betrayal of her ex-lover, “Graveyard” picks apart at the self, refusing to deny the enabling of past behaviors. Halsey recognizes that she “keeps digging [her]self down deeper” in obstinate pursuit of the destructive partner.
This narrative blossoms under a spacey, bittersweet techno beat that builds synthy layer over synthy layer. It has to muster the courage of its confessional chorus with sharp keyboard instrumentals that crescendo into the track’s peppy, EDM core. A jarring gasp near the bridge cements the overall theme of loss and betrayal.
The track functions as cohesively as any other Halsey track would. It might unfold in an era where Halsey strives to rebrand herself, but “Graveyard” does little to change the narrative she has carried throughout her entire career. Her lyrics run trite with derivative metaphors framed around the cliché “digging your own grave” narrative, leaving little to no insight on how it rings true in the case of her relationship. Lyrics like “eyes so dark, don’t know how you even see me” fall short of any thought provoking perspectives on failed love and leave little anticipation for the song’s progression. As far as standard EDM earworms go, “Graveyard” fits the bill for mainstream success. It certainly toys in areas less familiar to Halsey, but does little to diversify her musical pallette and potential.