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Alexander Stapleton

Transcript of New Americana by Halsey:

Lyrics and music
In terms of lyrics, 'New Americana' establishes a general rebellious mood signifying the
defiance of conformity to the social norms imposed on to the younger generations. This
is defiance is particularly referred to in the monologue-in-nature narration at the
beginning of the video, 'we feared no city and we feared no man'.
In terms of music, the tempo is slow and steady which is reflected by the way in which
the music video envisages a struggle that is eventually overcome by strength and
The manner in which the music video is edited resembles the march Halsey and her
'comrades' take to defy and conquer the stereotypes they are categorised in by society.
The music video is fairly fast-paced, cutting quickly between a montage of different
shots varying in location and in character. I think that this not only gives the viewer
multiple perspectives during the video but also keeps the viewer engaged and
Although there are many fast transitions at the beginning and end of the video in order
to reflect the situation of chaos and dismay, the middle of the video features some
longer shots which enable the video to achieve a much more cinematic look.
In terms of cinematography, close-up and mid-shots are commonly used throughout,
which is effective in showing the emotional journey Halsey is going through,
foreshadowing the struggles that are ahead. Furthermore, these shots add to the
cinematic and fluid look of the film as they seamlessly interlink to create a moving and
dramatic storyline.
Furthermore, towards the end of the music video, long-shots are used more frequently
to showcase the scenery and location, while giving the viewer a wide perspective of the
group action shots, as they save Halsey. Tracking and panning shots are also used to
showcase the location while maintaining the fast pace of the action.
In terms of genre, Halseys music is alternative, which is reflected in many ways
throughout the music video. For example, in relation to mise-en-scene, her distinct style
such as her short blue hair and much more authoritarian clothing reflect the genre
while also enhancing the way in which music video engages the audience. Furthermore,
I think this conforms to audience expectations of the alternative genre, presenting
Halsey as a strong and individual character in the video.
Intertexuality, Narrative and Performance

Alexander Stapleton
Halsey's music video blends art, fashion and music seamlessly for example, the 'home
video' look at the start of the music video not only gives a visual representation of
'Badlands' (the name of Halsey's album) but also represents the music video as also postapocalyptic, following the conventions of the alternative genre.
The dystopian setting and distinctive style enables the narrative to be much more
moving for the audience, enabling them to feel empowered as the audience sees Halsey's
growing independence and power.
In terms of performance, the fact that there is no presence of lip-sycning makes the
music video appear much more cinematic while adhering to alternative genre
Applying Laura Mulvey's Female Gaze...
In this music video, male gaze occurs when the audience is put into the perspective of
the heterosexual man. For example, a number of scenes focus on Halsey and her body
for example, putting you the viewer in the eyes of a male. This focus can be translated
through slow motion, deliberate camera movements and cut aways.
Conversely we can also apply 'Female Gaze' to this video as a number of shots focus on
Halsey's male comrades and their facial and body features, using the same effects such
slow motion.