The pop star's fans have been busy cracking the clues she's left them
Halsey‘s fans are extremely good at working out the clues the star leaves for them in her music, her interviews, and on social media. Already this year they’ve correctly sussed the name of her third album, that she’d announce something on September 3 (because of the title of her debut EP, ‘Room 93’), and more.
Now that ‘Manic’, the follow-up to 2017’s ‘Hopeless Fountain Kingdom’, has been officially announced, there are even more riddles to crack. The below might be unconfirmed at the time of writing, but they at least give us some idea of what to expect from Halsey’s highly-anticipated third album.
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‘Manic’ will be her first album as Ashley
While Halsey’s music has always pulled from her life, she usually dresses things up in concepts, like the Shakespearean love story of ‘Hopeless Fountain Kingdom’. But when she released ‘Without Me’ last year, she told Zane Lowe it was the first song she’d ever written as herself – Ashley – instead of the character of Halsey. “It’s just me,” she explained. “No wig, no colourful hair, no character, and it’s about my life and about my relationship that the world has watched so closely and so vehemently in the past year and a half.”
Now, her fans think she’s continuing that personal streak on ‘Manic’. “A(01)” pops up on the artwork for both the album and new single ‘Graveyard’, while her Twitter header photo now displays the sentence “Hi, my name is Ashley. It’s nice to meet you.” When she tweeted announcing the release of ‘Graveyard’ and pre-orders for ‘Manic’, she wrote: “I can’t wait to meet you”. That’s a pretty strange thing to say as someone very famous three albums in if you’re not taking down that persona and revealing more of your true self than ever before.
She’s already revealed some of the lyrics to the rest of the album
When Halsey was teasing the release of ‘Nightmare’ earlier this year, she hid lyrics in cities across America and featured them in the artwork. Some fans think she could have shared more lyrics from ‘Manic’ on a special website created for ‘Nightmare’.
Around the release of the single, fans were encouraged to share their details on nightma.re and share details of the worst nightmare they’d ever had in exchange for learning more about the meaning behind that bad dream. They were given a list of options to choose from including the likes of “animals/insects”, “drowning/suffocation”, ‘natural disaster”, “naked in public/crowd anxiety”, and more. Once a topic was selected, they were shown an unusually poetic definition that Twitter user @halseyxselena suggested could be lyrics, or at least themes for the lines we’ll find on ‘Manic’.
She’ll release another single (or two?) on her birthday
Back in August, Halsey posted a photo of her hand on Instagram, featuring a tiny tattoo that reads: “9 2 9”. If you read that in American date form, it could stand for September 29 – her birthday. So far, so fairly inconspicuous. It was her caption on the post that really sparked intrigue though. “track16,” she initially wrote alongside an emoji of a birthday cake. At some point later, she changed the caption to read: “track16 / TRACK2”. Could we be getting another song (or two) from ‘Manic’ when she turns 25?
It was originally meant to come out on October 18
Halsey made her fans really test their eyesight when she shared the artwork for ‘Graveyard’. On the left, in very blurred typeface, you can just about make out an ‘H’ and them something that looks like “ANIMC (17)”. Twitter user @halseyxselena has suggested that, combined with “A(01)” and “H3”, could form a kind of chemical equation that equals “MANIAC (18)”. Couple that with the board she held up in the ‘Nightmare’ video that featured the numbers “10 2019” and it seems like the album could originally have been planned for release in October.
To add to that theory, in January 2019 Halsey suggested her fans wouldn’t have to wait more than a year for her third album when she tweeted: “u guys r so cute omg u think I’m gonna drop the album in 2020”. ‘Without Me’ was originally planned to be a standalone single but is now on ‘Manic’, while May’s ‘Nightmare’ doesn’t feature in the album’s tracklist. “Just doesn’t fit!” she told a fan on Twitter. “Not the direction I ended up going in.” It stands to reason that Halsey could have changed her mind about what she wanted the album to be, causing the need to delay the release by a couple of months.