Halsey ft. Lauren Jauregui- Strangers (SSJ #52)

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Released exactly one month ago, “Strangers” features the duet vocals of American singers Halsey and Lauren Jauregui, the latter being a part of the girl-power group Fifth Harmony. With its combination of synths and hazy-sounding lyrics, this track has that ’80’s vibe to it, which makes it the slow-banger to dance to (or at least, “slow jam” to).

While I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of Halsey (rather, I haven’t listened to a lot of her songs to know whether I like her work or not), “Strangers” definitely gave me the feels when I first gave it a listen. With the sexy ’80’s beat in the opening part of the song, followed by the lyrics, “She doesn’t kiss me on the mouth anymore,” I just about died from shock and happiness. If you didn’t know, Halsey identifies as bisexual, as well as Lauren Jauregui, who came out at the end of last year. That said, to be overtly using female pronouns (instead of gender-neutral ones) is a bold statement, to say the least. Especially when Halsey has become a mainstream artist since her feature on the Chainsmokers’ “Closer” last summer, it shows just how she’s pushing for more LGBTQ+ representation in popular music, which makes me so damn blissful. ❤

Seriously, my queer heart was all in tingles listening to Halsey and Jauregui duet, the lyrics so raw and tender at the same time. Definitely has a Robyn-vibe to it, with its dance beats and bittersweet lyrics mashed up to create a dichotomous effect, which made it all the more appealing. The contrast between Halsey’s lighter, softer voice and Jauregui’s thicker, raspier one ended up complementing each other, as they each sing about a relationship that wasn’t supposed to mean anything, but turned out to be so. Listening to the low, flat instrumentals throughout gives off that deadbeat feel to it, with both singers expressing sadness and angst for what could’ve been a solid relationship, instead of a one-night hookup.

I chose to include “Strangers” in this week’s slow jam as a way to celebrate LGBT Pride Month, for it’s slowly coming to a close. I can imagine that this song will be a real hit at queer clubs, since it’s something that many can relate to. Aside from its political message, “Strangers” has the beats and atmosphere to get you slow-dancing all night long.

Feel free to give it a listen, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

— The Finicky Cynic

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