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Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (stylized in all lowercase; often abbreviated as HFK) is Halsey's sophomore full-length studio album. It was released on June 2, 2017. The deluxe version is exclusive to digital retailers and Target.

"Hopeless Fountain Kingdom" sold 106,000 album-equivalent sales, 76,000 of which were pure album sales, in the US during its first week. This resulted in the album debuting at #1 on the US Billboard 200. It is Halsey's first #1 album on the chart.

Background

The album was first hinted at in the credits of her debut album Badlands which end with the words "The boy who lives behind bricks, HFK".[1]

On February 28, 2017 Halsey revealed that she had sent invites to 100 fans in London to hear four new songs off of her next record and mentioned that “we cried”.[2]

At one of the last shows of her Badlands Tour a short video was shown which ended with the quote “You can find me in the kingdom,” which fans suspected was a hint about the singer’s upcoming music. Following the show Halsey also tweeted the same quote.[3] These theories were confirmed to be true on May 7, 2017 when Halsey revealed the title of her sophomore studio album to be Hopeless Fountain Kingdom.[4]

On March 23, 2017 Halsey announced the release date of her sophomore studio album by posting a picture of three cards which featured Roman numerals.[5] The same day she also posted the date in Arabic numbers and confirmed it was June 2, 2017.[6] On April 10, 2017, she revealed that the upcoming album would include some featured artists, including a "very, very big urban rap artist."[7]

Also in March 2017 four Twitter accounts appeared for Luna[8] of House Aureum[9], meaning golden in Latin, and Solis[10] of House Angelus[11], meaning angel in Latin. On April 4, 2017 Halsey talked about the meaning of the album in an interview with iHeart Radio:

"For me, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is a story about two people who want to be in love so badly they’re willing to change themselves for their love and in doing so they let the real versions of themselves die, so it’s a Romeo and Juliet story. [...] I was in a relationship with someone for a really long time, and I broke up with them, and then I sat down to write this album and realized I didn't know anything about myself. When I'm alone and I'm not in a relationship, who am I? Who am I without the gaze of another person? When I'm getting dressed in the morning, and they're not sitting at the foot of my bed, what clothes do I pick out? ... Who am I when they're not watching me? When they're not judging me? And that's a lot of what this record is about."
- Halsey[12]

In the same interview she also confirmed that, much like Badlands, this album is also a concept album. Also in March 2017 Halsey sent out handewritten Romeo & Juliet quotes to fans.[13] Moreover, she also changed her Twitter bio to a quote from Act 1: "True, I talk of dreams, which are the children of an idle brain." [14]

On March 7, 2017 Halsey stated that "When [she's] ready for [her fans] to have the album cover, [she's] gonna make [them] find it."[15] Halsey kept her promise and three weeks later a worldwide scavenger hunt for nine gun-shaped USB drives containing her HFK artwork started.[14] New York's USB was at Central Park's Romeo and Juliet statue, and others were found at The Shakespeare Bridge in Los Angeles and Mexico City's Parroquia del Purísimo Corazón de María, where Baz Luhrmann filmed Romeo & Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. In cities presumably lacking a public Shakespeare reference, USBs were hidden at local fountains.[14]

The album's lead single, "Now or Never", was released on April 7, 2017 and it again confirmed the obvious influence of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet on the album's concept. On April 10, 2017 Astralwerks Records posted a tweet that featured both House of Angelus and House of Aureum and asked people to pick their favorite.[16]

On the morning of April 28, 2017 select fans woke up to a newspaper on their doorsteps by the name of The Kingdom Times.[17] The paper included various "news stories" regarding the events that took place in the "Now Or Never" music video as well as other miscellaneous stories. When the paper was unfolded, the official Hopeless Fountain Kingdom track list was revealed.  

On May 3, 2017 Halsey announced her Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour with PARTYNEXTDOOR and Charli XCX. Some of the dates and locations were hinted at in The Kingdom Times. The same day she also announced the release of the album's first promotional single "Eyes Closed" which she would be premiering on Beats1.[18]

The album's second promotional single, "Strangers", featuring Lauren Jauregui was released on May 26, 2017. It is the first song by Halsey to feature feminine pronouns.

Halsey - hopeless fountain kingdom (Album Trailer)

Halsey - hopeless fountain kingdom (Album Trailer)

On July 1, 2017 Halsey uploaded a trailer for her sophomore album which features the album's opening track "The Prologue" and closing track "Hopeless". The album was finally released on June 2, 2017. She also held a Q&A on Twitter[19] to answer fans' questions about the album and explained why she chose to base the album off of Romeo & Juliet:

"I was going through this really bad break-up at the time where I kind of felt like I sacrificed so much of myself for the other person. Like wanting to change so I can make it work for them and wanting to let go of parts of me. And it felt in a way like I was kind of killing off a version of myself. I know that they had the same so Romeo & Juliet kind of came to mind. Because it’s like if I only let myself live I could have make it work. I didn’t have to sacrifice everything."
- Halsey[20]

Halsey's favorite songs on the record are "Lie", "Bad At Love", "Hopeless", "Heaven In Hiding" and "Walls Could Talk" [21]

On May 24, 2018, the album was officially certified platinum by RIAA.[22]

Titling

On June 20th, Halsey posted an Ask Me Anything Chat to YouTube in which she was asked how she came up with the name Hopeless Fountain Kingdom:

"It was the invention of a friend...named Zach. He always talked about the hopeless fountain kingdom as this place, this etherial place, this afterlife. And as I was growing and evolving past Badlands it really seemed like the most appropriate fit for me. I love the way that it sounds, I love the vulnerability in ‘hopeless’, I love the sense of eternity and the flowing nature of the word ‘fountain’ and of course as always, it is my ‘kingdom’."
- Halsey[23]

Regarding the inspiration behind the title of the record, there is a real fountain off of the L train's Halsey street stop in Brooklyn that bears the same name.

Concept

"It is true, in a city so empty of it there are two that possess love."
- The basic storyline of HFK[24]

As mentioned above Halsey's sophomore album is a concept album. The album follows a modernized storyline based on the famous tragedy Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The album is set in a futuristic place which is called the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. This place is a sort of purgatory for people who are too bad for heaven but too good for hell.[24]

The story revolves around two families who are living in the Hopeless Fountain Kingdom: Angelus and Aureum. The Angelus family rules over the kingdom, while the Aureum family lives among the common people. When heir to the throne Solis Angelus falls in love with Luna Aureum, chaos ensues. The album is expected to follow this conflict.

On May 16, 2017, Halsey confirmed via her Twitter account that the album would be accompanied by a series of connected music videos.[25] The order has been theorized to start with the album trailer and then goes in chronological order as follows: "Strangers", "Now Or Never", "Sorry", "Bad At Love" and lastly "Alone".

Track listing

Standard Edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "The Prologue" Ashley Frangipane, Peder Losengård, Chris Braide Lido 1:47
2. "100 Letters" Frangipane, Eric Frederic Ricky Reed 3:29
3. "Eyes Closed" Frangipane, Abel Tesfaye, Benjamin Levin, Nathan Perez, Magnus Høiberg Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat, Happy Perez 3:22
4. "Alone" Frangipane, Frederic, Dan Wilson, Josh Carter, Anthony Hester Ricky Reed 3:25
5. "Now or Never" Frangipane, Brittany Hazzard, Levin, Perez, Høiberg Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat, Happy Perez 3:34
6. "Sorry" Greg Kurstin, Frangipane Kurstin 3:40
7. "Good Mourning" Frangipane, Losnegård Lido 1:07
8. "Lie" (featuring Quavo) Frangipane, Losnegård, Quavious Marshall Lido 2:29
9. "Walls Could Talk" Frangipane, Losnegård Lido 1:41
10. "Bad at Love" Frangipane, Frederic, Justin Tranter, Rogét Chahayed Ricky Reed 3:01
11. "Strangers" (featuring Lauren Jauregui) Frangipane, Kurstin Kurstin 3:41
12. "Devil In Me" Frangipane, Sia Furler, Kurstin Kurstin 4:09
13. "Hopeless" (featuring Cashmere Cat) Frangipane, Levin, Høiberg, Joshua Coleman Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat 3:07
Deluxe Edition
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
4. "Heaven In Hiding" Frangipane, Kurstin Kurstin 3:27
5. "Alone" Frangipane, Frederic, Wilson, Carter, Hester Ricky Reed 3:25
6. "Now or Never" Frangipane, Hazzard, Levin, Perez, Høiberg Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat, Happy Perez 3:24
7. "Sorry" Frangipane, Kurstin Kurstin 3:40
8. "Good Mourning" Frangipane, Losnegård Lido 1:07
9. "Lie" (featuring Quavo) Frangipane, Losnegård, Marshall Lido 2:29
10. "Walls Could Talk" Frangipane, Frederic, Tranter, Chahayed Ricky Reed 3:01
11. "Bad at Love" Frangipane, Frederic, Tranter, Chahayed Ricky Reed 3:01
12. "Don't Play" Frangipane, Losnegård Lido 3:30
13. "Strangers" (featuring Lauren Jauregui) Frangipane, Kurstin Kurstin 3:41
14. "Angel On Fire" Frangipane, Kurstin Kurstin 3:14
15. "Devil In Me" Frangipane, Furler, Kurstin Kurstin 4:09
16. "Hopeless" (featuring Cashmere Cat) Frangipane, Levin, Høiberg, Coleman Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat 3:07

Singles

All singles and promotional singles were released through Astralwerk Records.

  • "Now or Never" was released as the lead single of the album on April 7, 2017 along with pre-order. The same day, the music video premiered.
  • "Bad at Love" impacted the pop radio on August 22, 2017 as the album's second single.
  • "Alone" was released as the album's third single on March 15, 2018. The song was remixed, and featured Big Sean and Stefflon Don.

Promotional Singles

  • "Eyes Closed" was released as the first promotional single on May 4, 2017. 
  • "Strangers" was released as the second promotional single prior to the album's release. It features American singer Lauren Jauregui.

Gallery

References

  1. See credits in vinyl & CD packaging.
  2. Twitter - @halsey – “I sent sneaky invites to 100 fans in London yesterday to hear 4 new songs off of my next record. We cried.”
  3. Twitter - @halsey - "YOU CAN FIND ME IN THE KINGDOM..."
  4. Twitter - @halsey – “im pleased to announce my upcoming album this june, is titled: hopeless fountain kingdom. See you soon. Upon the announcement she also changed her twitter bio to read “I will be releasing my sophomore studio album in June 2017.”
  5. Twitter - @halsey – “the album, hopeless fountain kingdom, drops on this day. thank you.
  6. Twitter - @halsey – “6.2.17”
  7. Halsey Changes Gears With New Dance-Influenced Album
  8. Twitter - @lunaaureum
  9. Twitter - @houseofaureum
  10. Twitter @solisangelus
  11. Twitter -@houseofangelus
  12. YouTube - Halsey 'Hopeless Fountain Kingdom' + "Now Or Never" | Exclusive Interview"
  13. [https://twitter.com/rebeccamccainn/status/838251859089358848 Twitter - @rebeccamccainn - "@halsey sent me Romeo and Juliet quotes in the mail and needless to say the past 6 hours I've been emotional]
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 MTV News - "BREAKING DOWN HALSEY’S OBSESSION WITH ROMEO AND JULIET"
  15. Twitter - @halsey - "Nope! When I'm ready for you to have the album cover, I'm gonna make you find it.
  16. Twitter @Astralwerks - "RT for House of Aureum Like for House of Angelus #NowOrNever http://iamhalsey.com/nowvideo
  17. Twitter - @halsey17news
  18. Twitter - @halsey - and I am premiering a BRAND NEW SONG tomorrow on @Beats1 with @zanelowe @ 9:30am PST / 12:30pm EST
  19. Twitter - "Halsey talks the inspiration for her emotional new album"
  20. Twitter - @halsey - ".@vividmerrick #hopelessfountainkingdom"
  21. https://twitter.com/halsey/status/876503308294402048
  22. Billboard - "Halsey Thanks Fans as 'Hopeless Fountain Kingdom' Is Certified Platinum by RIAA"
  23. YouTube - "Halsey Tells Us How To Pronounce Her Last Name & Singing w/ Katy Perry. Part 1"
  24. 24.0 24.1 YouTube - Halsey - The Making of Now or Never
  25. Twitter - @halsey - "Behind the scenes of the 1st video in the #hfk series"
Newhfk
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