A few days ago, singer Halsey announced the release date of their fourth album with some incredible cover art. The piece depicts Halsey in Baroque-style garb, seated on a huge throne and holding a newborn in her lap.
In their announcement, Halsey states that their idea behind their new album is “the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth.” They mention the belief that their body can be a sexual being and a home and caretaker for their child. With this album, they reclaim their body and identity on their own terms after years of the media and society while trying to control them. The piece is also meant to celebrate the beauty of pregnant and postpartum bodies and fight against the stigma in our world surrounding those topics.
The album art and message behind it are extremely powerful and beautiful statements that really drew me in. Clearly, the cover is meant to mimic traditional Christian art, specifically depictions of the Virgin Mary. The throne and luxurious surroundings symbolize power and authority, two things Halsey stated they are attempting to reclaim. Halsey’s exposed breast could represent the duality between their sexualization and their identity as a nurturer for their child. Even the baby is pictured much like baby Jesus would be, his hand raised mimicking the hand blessings often included in traditional paintings. In their other announcement media for the new album, Halsey released a video of themselves wandering around the MET examining many different art pieces wearing flowing garments that highlight their pregnancy. As they wander and show different pieces, they finally approach their own art piece on display.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed exploring Halsey’s artistic vision so far and can’t wait to listen to the album when it’s released! (August 27th, 2021)