So we’ve known for a few weeks that Halsey’s new album, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, was coming. And we also know that it has been produced by Atticus Ross and Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor (i.e. the duo who just won an Oscar for their work on the Soul soundtrack).
We’ve also known since January that Halsey is pregnant with her and partner Alev Aydin’s first child together. But, now, it seems that both Halsey’s personal and professional life will intertwine; as proven with the album’s incredible artwork.
Announcing the album with a trailer filmed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, it sees the pop giant wander through exhibits before revealing a life-size painting of the album artwork: Halsey sitting atop a golden throne, breast exposed, nursing a baby on her lap.
The power that beams from the image is striking. Not because her breast is exposed and not because we don't know whether that baby is her baby, but because she's sitting with such serenity yet such strength. The fusion of those two things, and more, apparently makes up the crux of the album.
"This album is a concept album about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth," Halsey wrote on Instagram revealing the artwork.
"It was very important to me that the cover art conveyed the sentiment of my journey over the past few months. The dichotomy of the Madonna and the Whore. The idea that me as a sexual being and my body as a vessel and gift to my child are two concepts that can co-exist peacefully and powerfully.
"My body has belonged to the world in many different ways the past few years," she continued, "and this image is my means of reclaiming my autonomy and establishing my pride and strength as a life force for my human being."
If I Cant Have Love, I Want Power is tipped to be the beginning of a new sonic direction for Halsey, with the 10-second punk rock-style teaser sounded markedly different to her previous pop sound. Given Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are on the books as producers, this makes sense.
If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power is out Friday August 27.