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"New Americana" is an electropop song that describes the normalization of counterculture. It received mixed reviews from critics, while some enjoyed its anthem-styled composition, others criticized it for being formulaic, as well as pandering to a certain audience.
The music video was released on September 25, 2015. A teaser for the video was released onto Halsey's VEVO account two days earlier. The version in the video was slightly different than the studio version.
The video opens with an intro of mountain scenery recorded in VHS style with a voice-over of Halsey stating "We were a community. They made me their leader even when I never asked to be. But the lightning in their eyes heralded me to whatever I needed to become. We were hopeful we would win because nothing could scare us. We feared no city and we feared no man." As the song begins to play, Halsey is then showed joining and being captive with a group of Americans doing unexceptional things. They are then barged in by troops who line them up and take Halsey as hostage since she is presumably the leader of the Americans. She is then dragged to a village where she is tied up to a bonfire. While being poured over with gasoline, Halsey pleas for help but no one responds until immediately before being lit up, when she is then rescued by the Americans. After escaping the troops, Halsey and the Americans are then shown heading out of the forest and running away from the village. The video ends with an instrumental of Drive featuring Halsey lying on the ground somewhere similar to the mountains as seen on the opening of the video with a backdrop of a city covered in mist. She is seen wearing a white dystopian outfit and left with nothing but car keys and a radio which she then reaches out to and tries to unravel.
|Released||September 25, 2015|
|VEVO views||39+ Million views|
Charts and certifications
- "New Americana" is Halsey's only song from Badlands to land on the chart. It peaked at #60. Halsey's overall highest-peaking song on the Billboard Hot 100, however, is "Closer," which is a collaboration with The Chainsmokers.
- The song is certified gold by the RIAA, and has sold over 300,000 copies in the United States.
- "New Americana" is Halsey's most streamed song on Spotify. It currently has over 150 million streams.
- The bridge of the song was inspired by The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy," which had the lines "You know very well who you are. Don't let 'em hold you down, reach for the stars. You had a goal, but not that many. Cause you're the only one. I'll give you good and plenty."
- The Notorious B.I.G. is also referenced in the chorus, in the line "Raised on Biggie and Nirvana."