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"Strangers" is a song by American electropop artist Halsey featured on her second studio album Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. The song features Cuban-American singer Lauren Jauregui from Fifth Harmony. The song was released on May 26, 2017. It serves as the second promotional single from the album, and has appeared on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking #100.

Background

On May 24, Halsey officially announced the release of Strangers via her Twitter account.[1]

Halsey has said that “Strangers” is the first song she wrote openly using female pronouns rather than her gender neutral pronouns in previous songs.[2] During an interview with Beats 1 Radio's Zane Lowe on May 3, 2017, Halsey stated the following about the track:

"I think I've never heard a song, and I may be wrong, of two openly LGBT women singing a love story to each other on Top 40 radio."[3]
In April during several radio interviews that Halsey attended to promote the album, she further commented about the song:
"I was thinking to myself, if I want this song to be believable, it needs to be real, so I'm not going to put a girl on the song to sing who's straight. I'm just not going to do it. So I reached out to Lauren and she came in and she cut the vocal and it sounds awesome. Our voices sound really cool together because we both have really raspy voices, mine's a little more delicate than hers. Hers is like really powerful and big and raspy, and mine is kind of like light and raspy. But it's really cool. I just love that Lauren and I are two women who have a mainstream pop presence doing a love song for the LGBT community, it's unheard of. It's very rare to see it from a female perspective" [4]
Halsey and Jauregui are both openly bisexual. In terms of the album’s narrative, “Strangers” is about the characters meeting at a “crazy house party” (explained in “Alone” and “Heaven In Hiding”) that takes place at Halsey’s house. But in reality, it’s Halsey reflecting on another relationship she had been trying to move on from. In an interview with Zach Snag, Halsey says:
In “Strangers”, two women sing to each other (Romeo’s and Juliet’s perspective) and express their feelings during their first meeting at a house party at her house.

Composition

"Strangers" is a synthpop song incorporating '80's-inspired production,[5] with echoed synths and strong drumline.[6][7] "Strangers is about two women longing for one another," while Christina Lee of Idolator opined, "The lyrics actually tell a straightforward story about a dissolved relationship, and the loneliness that quickly follows."

Lyrics

On May 17, 2017, Halsey tweeted out a line of lyrics that is assumed to be from Strangers.[8] A thirty second snippet of the song leaked to Twitter the next day.

[Verse 1: Halsey]
She doesn't kiss me on the mouth anymore
'Cause it's more intimate, than she thinks we should get
She doesn't look me in the eyes anymore
Too scared of what she'll see, somebody holding me

[Pre-Chorus: Halsey]
When I wake up all alone
And I'm thinking of your skin
I remember, I remember what you told me

[Chorus 1: Halsey & Lauren Jauregui]
Said that we're not lovers, we're just strangers
With the same damn hunger
To be touched, to be loved, to feel anything at all
We're not lovers, we're just strangers
With the same damn hunger
To be touched, to be loved, to feel anything at all

[Verse 2: Lauren Jauregui]
She doesn't call me on the phone anymore
She's never listening, she says it's innocent
She doesn't let me have control anymore
I must've crossed a line, I must've lost my mind

[Pre-Chorus: Halsey]
When I wake up all alone
And I'm thinking of your skin
I remember, I remember what you told me

[Chorus 1: Halsey & Lauren Jauregui]
Said that we're not lovers, we're just strangers
With the same damn hunger
To be touched, to be loved, to feel anything at all
We're not lovers, we're just strangers
With the same damn hunger
To be touched, to be loved, to feel anything at all

[Bridge: Halsey & Lauren Jauregui]
I miss the mornings with you laying in my bed
I miss the memories replaying in my head
I miss the thought of a forever, you and me
But all you're missing is my body, oh

[Chorus 2: Halsey & Lauren Jauregui]
Said we're not lovers (we're not lovers)
'Cause we're just strangers
With the same damn hunger
To be touched, to be loved, to feel anything at all
We're not lovers, we're just strangers
With the same damn hunger
To be touched, to be loved, to feel anything at all (anything)

[Outro]
To feel anything at all
To feel anything at all
You lost it
You lost it
You lost it

Videos

Audio

Halsey - Strangers (Audio) ft03:41

Halsey - Strangers (Audio) ft. Lauren Jauregui

Live Performances

Halsey - Strangers (Vevo Presents)03:36

Halsey - Strangers (Vevo Presents)

Trivia

  • The words "Chapter 3" can be seen on the single cover art. This implies that the concept of Hopeless Fountain Kingdom will be told out in chapters, with each song's position in the story left up to the listener to figure out (as Strangers is the third single).
  • The song exclusively uses she/her pronouns.

References

  1. h on Twitter
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKOXCoDWpIY&feature=youtu.be&t=33m36s
  3. Halsey shares new song 'Eyes Closed', teases collab with Lauren Jauregui
  4. http://www.idolator.com/7663120/halsey-lauren-jauregui-strangers-lgbt-love-song
  5. http://www.spin.com/2017/05/listen-halsey-strangers-stream/
  6. http://www.fuse.tv/2017/05/halsey-lauren-jauregui-strangers
  7. https://consequenceofsound.net/2017/06/album-review-halsey-hopeless-fountain-kingdom/
  8. h on Twitter
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