Mini-Review: New Americana? Yes. Old record industry? Certainly
So many signifiers, signifying little.
I loved Halsey’s ‘New Americana’ when it first slinked onto Beats 1. Then I wrote this piece for The Next Web and someone from her record company was abusive to me on Twitter. That took the shine off the pop banger.
Now I’m starting to lose my shine for the song. It’s too carefully constructed, too many classic references slammed together in a Frankenstein designed to make the world fall for the biker chick blonde schtick of Halsey.
It is the kind of song record companies love because it’s built to span demographics – Biggie, Nirvana, some hip-hop lyrical references, the perfect styling of her Late Show performance – all carefully picked.
This is the least authentic thing since Lana Del Ray decided to use talking about suicide as a happy little record selling gimmick.
I still like the song, but the whole thing leaves a queasy feeling. Is she for real (4real)? Not even remotely.