TEST SPINS: Lana Del Rey — Honeymoon


Lana Del Rey’s new album is so Lana Del Rey. And I mean that in a good way; when your name can be used as a self-explanatory description, I guess you know you’ve established yourself as an artist. You get the sense that Honeymoon is an album over which she had complete artistic control, moving even further away from the upbeat, radio-friendly, synth-heavy nature of Born to Die than her last album did. While Ultraviolence is more rock influenced, Honeymoon is slow dream pop, its songs driven by Del Rey’s voice and sprinkled with minimalistic guitar, strings, piano notes and percussion. Her voice is soulful and suave as ever, effortlessly dipping from light, airy high notes to her Stevie Nicks-esque lower range.

TEST SPIN: Halsey — Badlands


With her cropped electric blue hair and melancholic pop-electric sound, it would be easy to write off twenty-year old Halsey as a washed up combination of Lana Del Rey and Lorde, a product of her generation’s obsession with romanticizing sadness and showing a disdain for the ordinary. However, to do so would be a mistake, as Halsey brings something much more unique to the table: A raw understanding about the troubles and joys of adolescence. Halsey has made no secret of the fact that she’s had her fair share of struggles, ranging from homelessness and drugs to the trials of being “tri-bi,” meaning biracial, bisexual and bipolar. It comes as no surprise, then, that the album, titled Badlands, is described by Halsey as a metaphor for her mental state. “Even if the badlands are all you’ve ever known,” she explained on her Twitter, “you can find solace outside them.”

The album listens like a novel reads: Each song a chapter leaving you wondering what will happen next.