Music Video Review: Halsey is too Urban Outfitters in 'New Americana'

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 1:12pm

NOSELL

Astralwerks

 

Halsey is one of those girls. You know the ones: They can rock the mystical shoulder tattoos, the Smurf-blue hair, the elusive ultra-pixie cut, the oversized band T-shirts — and still look completely irresistible.

C+

“New Americana”

Halsey

Astralwerks

The thing is, though, Halsey’s music is too intelligent, too edgy to be pigeonholed into that basic category of “hipster.” Perhaps this stereotyping is what she and her clan are rebelling against in the post-apocalyptic “New Americana” video. It’s intense, and for the most part, convincingly so.

As our leading lady is chilling with her heathens in an underground layer, doing push-ups and smoking and kissing people aggressively (typical), she’s captured by some fascist dude with a really big gun. He drags her through the rainforest, ties her to a tree and douses her in gasoline: apt preparations for hipster homicide. Alas, Halsey won’t settle for that — eccentricity will not be stifled — and in comes La Resistance to save the fire-lit night.

All of this is effective in eliciting true fear for the singer — one simply must watch until the end to find out what goes down. “New Americana” is the perfect backing song for the cinematography, too, as both the video and music extract from each other equal amounts of raw, penetrating power.

But as the good-looking group is sprinting to safety at the end, one can’t help but think of the typicality of it all. The video straight up looks like it’s from “The Hunger Games”  if Urban Outfitters had been the executive producer. In a time where sexy sci-fi tales of young-adult upheaval are more than overdone, Halsey’s originality is best suited to a far less clichéd format.