“Strangers” is one of the few rare same-sex love songs that is around today. Written by Halsey and Greg Kurstin, the song is the thirteenth track off of her “hopeless fountain kingdom” album in 2017. Featuring Lauren Jauregui from pop group Fifth Harmony who had come out as bisexual earlier that year (Halsey had already come out previously), the song uses female pronouns to emphasize that the romantic relationship was between two women. Halsey has also expressed that this the first song when openly wrote using female pronouns rather than her previous more gender-neutral songs.
The track focuses on the slowly separating relationship between two women, saying that they are more like strangers, and that they have nothing in common with each other except “with the same damn hunger, to be touched, to be loved, to feel anything at all”. The track emphasizes a relationship that is very one-sided and primarily physical with no feelings, but also how they both do feel something more than lust and physical desire for each other, but only one person is open about it: “she doesn’t look me in the eyes anymore / too scared of what she’ll see, somebody holding me”. The song was a game changer for the LGBT community and was welcomed with a mass of open arms by them, particularly the bi-sexual community.
The music video follows the storyline of the rest of the album, a remake of Romeo & Juilet but the gender roles are swapped – Halsey being more of a Romeo rather than Juilet. The music video is of Halsey and Lauren fighting in a boxing ring, with Halsey winning and leaving with her lover. The video was released in June 2018 and has almost 18 million views.
Release Date: May 2017
Songwriter/s: Halsey, Greg Kurstin
Producer/s: Greg Kurstin
Album: hopeless fountain kingdom (2017)
Music Video Release Date: 20th June 2018
Chart Rankings, Certifications & Awards: The track received Gold certification in Brazil. It reached #93 in Australian charts, #81 in the Czech Republic’s Top 100, #137 in France, #3 in New Zealand Heatseekers, #90 in the Philippines, #57 in Portugal, #45 in Scotland, #89 in Slovakia and was #100 in the US Billboard Hot 100. It was also named Billboard’s 97th best song released in 2017.