So this video has been up for about three hours at this point, so I'll give you a little leeway if you haven't seen it yet, but Halsey's 'New Americana' music is the best music video I've ever seen.
Okay, I'll admit I'm a bit biased -- Halsey is kind of my entire life. Also the music video is pretty dystopian and y'all know how I love me some dystopia futures. So before we being let me show you a picture of Halsey with her new white hair because she is a gorgeous snow princess and I want you to be aware of that.
Okay now that you all have admired one of my favorite human beings, let's take a look at 'New Americana'.
Also as an excuse to watch this music video 9,000 more times, let's delve into this music video, get the story, and see if we can figure out what the future of Badlands holds.
(Feel free to follow the music video with the text below if that so pleases your heart)
The cinematic masterpiece that is currently being called a music video starts out with Halsey (I'm probably going to called her Ashley for most of this) saying, "We were a community. They made me their leader when I never asked to be; but the lighting in their eyes haunted me into whatever they needed me to become."
At this point she's referencing to the group of people she's with. The group seems fairly young from the footage we see later on. The group is in desperate need of a leader, and seeing or maybe even sensing a leadership quality they choose Ashley as their leader.
The video continues with, "We were hopeful we could win, because nothing could scare us. We feared no city and we feared no man." The group she is with is optimistic they can win whatever war is happening at this time. From what I've seen there are either almost clans -- for lack of better word -- or it's Ashley's group against the government.
Personally, I think the world's kind of divided into little clans and they seem to be one of the more powerful ones.
28 seconds into the video the music begins and we are led across a misty terrain to a woman standing outside of a large cave like structure. The woman walks into the structure and removes her cloak. She looks like a picture perfect frondeur.
At this point we get a look at what life in the cave is like. They have just about everything they need to be happy; drugs, vanity, 'love'. They also seem to do a lot of training, which probably seems obvious because -- you know -- dystopian universe and being a powerful group.
At about 1:06 we get a foreshadowing shot of a gun. There territory has been found by someone they don't want to find them. They are not aware and continue on as normal. At 1:12 we get another shot of whoever their predator is in the form of boots, but again we are flashed back to life in the cave. At 1:17 we see nearly the full figure. He is near where the group is located.
By 1:25 our group is being taken away by what seem to be some form of military officers for someone or something. The group is lined up and most likely to be executed if their leader is not revealed. You can tell Ashley is aware of her fate just looking at the shot especially at 1:33. In the seconds after 1:33 you see the guards speaking to everyone lined up. They all turn towards Ashley.
Ashley is taken away. (okay this is where I started crying I'm not going to lie I'm still an emotional wreck). Now I'm not the best at reading lips, but for the sake of watching this video as many times as possible, I'll try; in the shots as she is being dragged it would apear as if she was saying "somebody help, or somebody stop this." (Again not very skilled at lip reading.) She is dragged out of the cave and through a jungle. The guards seem to have left everyone else in the cave, judging by the shot 2:07 where everyone is slowly following behind.
Despite her best efforts to escape, Ashley is forcefully dragged to a village where we hear her screaming for help. (Are you sobbing as hard as I am or am I getting too attached to a music video storyline?) She is tied to pole where it is made obvious she is to be burned at the stake. The townspeople watch solemenly as she struggles to release herself from the ropes binding her to the pole.
The guards begin to pour gasoline (okay now that I'm typing this out this could be a possible song reference OKAY JUST CHECKED THE LYRICS IT'S ALL TYING IN NOW PEOPLE THIS IS A PRETTY EMOTIONAL MOMENT FOR ME GIVE ME A SECOND TO CALm dOwN.) everywhere.
The guards light a torch and begin to walk towards Ashley, just before they set fire we get a *foreshadowing* glimpse of her group emerging from the tree line. We see the flames nearly touch the wood and then smoke everywhere. People are running. We see people of all ages fighting back the guards. This leads me to believe that the guards are some type of police for the village. Ashley's group broke away and has been hiding from the village for sometime while the guards keep close watch over the remaining citizens, careful not to let another slip away. With the distraction enabling them to fight back, they take a chance. Ashley escapes and we see her and her group running away from the village.
Now the ending of this video just gets me super pumped because Badlands has turned out to be amazing so far. We see Ashley laying on a cliffs edge with her hair grown out fairly longer since she ran from the village. It's been a while since we've last seen her, so we know something has probably happened judging by the fact no one in her group is visible in the shot. (possible other music video explaining these events?) The song is clearly 'Drive' which is most likely the next video, unless of course she decides to do a music video of what's lead up to this part. We see her grab a few things then get up and the screen goes black.
To say the very least, this was longer than intended.
What did you think of the music video? Do you have any theories? Let me know in the comments!
Hugs and Virtual Cookies,