If you don’t know who Hailee Steinfeld is yet, let me introduce her to you: Hailee is a 23-year-old actress, singer, and songwriter from California. She began acting when she was 10 and had her breakthrough at 13 with the movie ‘True Grit’ for which she earned an Oscar nomination, but it wasn’t until 2015 that Hailee got worldwide recognition. That year, she co-starred in ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ (then ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ in 2017) which kick-started her music career. She joined Shawn Mendes for an acoustic version of his hit single ‘Stitches’ in July and released her debut single ‘Love Myself’ a month later with Republic Records. She released her first EP ‘HAIZ’ (which is what her fans call her) in February 2016, which included the single ‘Rock Bottom’ featuring DNCE, Joe Jonas’ band at the time – does that ring a bell? In July 2016, she released her biggest single to date ‘Starving’ in collaboration with Grey and Zedd. Since then, she also featured on a few radio hits, including ‘Let Me Go’ with Alesso, featuring Florida Georgia Line and watt, and ‘Capital Letters’ with BloodPop from the ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ soundtrack. You may also know her as the lead in the coming-of-age movie ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ which was released in November that same year, as her performance earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination.
Alright, now that you’re all caught up, let’s talk about her newest record. The EP ‘Half Written Story’ is part of a two-part collection and was released on May 8, 2020. The first single of that project was released on January 1, 2020 – ‘Wrong Direction’ is a heart-wrenching piano ballad about being deceived in a relationship, wanting to see only the best in someone and realizing only too late how bad this person and relationship are to you. The music video adds even more emotion to it, showing Hailee literally laying herself bare in a bathtub. It is so simple and yet so heartbreaking.
The second single off the EP was released on March 26th 2020, and is called ‘I Love You’s’. While it is a more upbeat song, it isn’t necessarily a much happier song, although it is positive in the sense that Hailee has come to the point where she has had enough of meaningless acts and words and has decided to focus on herself until she is mentally ready to give love another try, which, in my humble opinion, is something everyone would benefit from doing. It’s an amazing and catchy song with a great message and the music video is definitely worth watching too, as Hailee is basically throwing a fashion show, and is killing it too!
The three other songs of the EP have a darker vibe to them, especially in the lyric videos that she posted for each of the songs. Hailee appears as a drawn puppet version of herself, looking sad, and with her clothes torn, showing she was not in control of herself at the time of the relationship she wrote about. The production and the way she chose to sing, sometimes almost speak, those particular songs seem different from what she has done in the past and you can tell she has evolved into a woman that is confident in herself and in her art.
‘Your Name Hurts’ starts with the line “We’re a half-written story without any ending” which inspired the EP’s title. It’s a song that anyone who has gone through a breakup can relate to, it’s about the feeling of the loss of a future you had imagined with someone who’s not a part of your life anymore, kind of a loss of yourself too, or who you thought you were and wanting that person to feel as hurt as you are.
In ‘End This (L.O.V.E)’ , Hailee uses a clever sample of Frank Sinatra’s ‘L.O.V.E’ in the chorus. It’s a very honest testimony of the pain she felt towards the end of the relationship and how it changed her. Creatively, this has to be one of her best works.
‘Man Up’ is another very creative song. Hailee‘s gone past the previous stages of a breakup and is definitely over being hurt, she’s more savage and the passive-aggressiveness in this song is everything. “Just be a man, love, and I don’t mean society’s version, I just mean be a better person for once” – this song deserves to be heard if only for that one line!
The second part of the collection is meant to be released later this year and I personally cannot wait to hear the rest of her story. What’s your favourite song off this EP?
Favourite tracks: Your Name Hurts, Man Up
Post written by Moïra Lilly.