Song of the Week: Halsey Delivers an Explosive Pop-Punk Jam in “Easier than Lying”

MUNYA, griff, and Liam Payne also dropped essential tracks this week

Halsey Easier Than Lying
Halsey in the If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power trailer (YouTube)

    Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Halsey refuses to hold back with pop-punk jam “Easier than Lying.”

    Halsey lets loose in a multitude of ways on their new album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, but nowhere more so than on “Easier than Lying.” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross co-wrote every song on the album, and “Easier than Lying” offers the perfect spot for their industrial sensibilities to reach full throttle. It’s wildly energetic and cathartic — and Halsey, who has proven to be adept at bouncing from genre to genre, truly shines in the pop-punk chaos of it all.

    Among the themes Halsey explores in the album, the push-and-pull between joy and tragedy is one of the most effective. Halsey is no stranger to loss, and they’ve been open about their struggle with endometriosis and multiple miscarriages. The safe arrival of their child is a wondrous relief. This album isn’t entirely about the journey of becoming a parent, though, and “Easier than Lying” feels like a moment all their own, full of righteous fury.


    Here’s hoping they keep pop-punk in mind for the future, because it’s a place where Halsey absolutely shines.

    — Mary Siroky
    Contributing Editor

    Honorable Mentions:

    griff – “one night”

    London-based rising star griff’s new single “one night” is all about the anxieties that keep you up at night. It’s a desperate plea for even just a single night’s relief, disguised as a bright and cheery pop song. The bouncy, cyclical chorus melody mimics the shape of those spiraling, out-of-control thoughts, transforming their maddening burden into something euphoric. — Curtis Sun

    MUNYA – “Cocoa Beach”

    MUNYA has perfected her formula of lush, delightful dream pop over the years, and “Cocoa Beach” is another excellent entry for the Québécois artist. With an extra emphasis on groove, “Cocoa Beach” features a thumping, active bass line that drives the song completely. The song is hopeful and yearning, but at the same time, has an idyllic, laid back quality that’s as infectious as it is intriguing. Add in a fascinating chord shift to a verse entirely in french, with references to golden age jazz and pop, and you’ve got “Cocoa Beach.” — Paolo Ragusa


    Natalie Hemby – “Radio Silence”

    On “Radio Silence,” Natalie Hemby expertly captures the sadness that comes with friends drifting apart. “I tried to reach you through the growing static/ I tried to replicate the fading magic/ Did everything to keep the signal from dying/ All I got was radio silence,” she sings over melancholy country production, reminding listeners that the worst way to be ghosted isn’t by a stranger on a dating app, but by watching a chasm grow wider and wider with someone who used to be your person. — Glenn Rowley


    BTS – “Butter (feat. Megan Thee Stallion)”

    After the reveal of a months-long legal battle earlier this week, Megan Thee Stallion was cleared to release the remix of the BTS summer smash “Butter.” Jumping onto the track with BTS really only signals one thing: Hot Girl Summer is not over yet. Megan’s verse is ridiculously fun, playful, and characteristically confident, with lines like “Smooth like cocoa butter/ My drip more than a puddle” that add her own unique spin on the original.

    ARMY seems just as excited as Thee Stallion herself — to celebrate the collab, in true mobilizing fashion, the BTS ARMY launched #TheeArmyFund and successfully raised $100,000 to be split between community funds Women for Afghan Women, Black Women For Wellness, and Houston Food Bank.

    — M.S.


    Teddy Swims – “Simple Things”

    Teddy Swims can truly move mountains with his colossal voice. On “Simple Things,” Teddy Swims looks back on his past in an intimate and confessional way, while highlighting the subtle things in life that can mean the most. His country roots are on display in the song (he’s been opening for Zac Brown Band on tour this month), finding a slice-of-life way of presenting these ideas without ever losing the purity and power of his voice. It’s an emotional, touching track, and it brings Teddy Swims’ talents to the forefront. Sometimes, as Teddy says, it “always comes back around to simple things.” — P.R.

    Liam Payne – “Sunshine”

    Liam Payne is soaking up all the good vibes on “Sunshine,” his offering for the soundtrack to the upcoming animated film Ron’s Gone Wrong. Though the kids’ flick doesn’t hit theaters until October, the former One Directioner is already channeling his best Justin Timberlake impression on the feel-good jam. “You’re like a sunshine/ Only givin’ good vibes/ Any, any time that you roll in/ Can’t believe that I found my sunshine,” he sings on the hook, showing off his AutoTune-tinged falsetto croon. However, the real star of the show here might be the live chicken that serves as the one-time boy bander’s co-star in the track’s music video. — G.R.


    Adam Melchor – “What a Damn Shame”

    Adam Melchor debuts an entirely new sound on his latest single, “What a Damn Shame.” Trading his trusty acoustic guitar for one of the crunchy, electric variety, the New Jersey-based singer-songwriter turns up the reverb as he laments a wasted night after being stood up by a date. “I heard Sinatra wouldn’t be caught dead without a suit/ Well I know I’m not him/ My hair’s more curly and my eyes a little less blue/ What a damn shame, what a damn shame/ What a damn shame when it don’t go right,” he vents on the hilariously relatable track.

    If only we could all go back in time and warn ourselves: some nights, the first date’s not even worth getting dressed up. Just trust your future self on that one. — G.R.


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