Badlands is Halsey's debut studio album that was released on August 28, 2015 by Astralwerks.
- Castle 4:37
- Hold Me Down 3:24
- New Americana 3:03
- Drive 4:18
- Roman Holiday 4:21
- Colors 4:09
- Coming Down 3:43
- Haunting 4:20
- Control 3:34
- Young God 3:00
- Ghost 2:33
According to Halsey, "Badlands" is a concept album focusing on the fictional dystopian society known as The Badlands, which is a desert wasteland surrounds the city, keeping the inhabitants of The Badlands captive.
The album was inspired by post-apocalyptic films such as The Fifth Element.
After writing the first few songs, Halsey realized the entire concept was a metaphor for her mental state. She states she created the Badlands to escape from her real-life struggles. In her opinion, the metaphor was even with no escape, there is still hope there is somewhere else to go.
Lido served as the album's executive producer.
Musically, the album is mainly rooted in electropop, dark pop, alternative pop & synth-pop, and features industrial undertones.
"Badlands" amassed a healthy number of pre-order sales ahead of its release; according to a Hits Daily Double report, nearly 40,000 by August.
The album debuted at #2 on Billboard 200 with a total of 115,000 equivalent units (97,000 in pure album sales), which marked the highest-charting album released by the Astralwerks record company so far.
As of June 2017, "Badlands" had sold 520,000 copies in the United States. In December 2017, it was announced that the album had reached one billion streams on Spotify.
The album debuted at #9 on the UK Albums Chart, selling 8,225 copies in its first week. By June 2017, it had sold 106,804 copies in the United Kingdom.
Elsewhere, the album reached #2 in Australia, number three in New Zealand and Ireland, number five in the Netherlands, and number 10 in Belgium (Flanders).
In a review for Pitchfork, Nathan Reese wrote: "Reading interviews with Halsey you get the sense of a canny and talented performer, one who legitimately wants to connect with fans. But the public persona only comes through on Badlands in fits and starts, and there isn't a single subversive or original second on the album."
About the chorus on "New Americana", he commented "Like most of Badlands, it's calculated, defiant, and, ultimately, hollow."
Rolling Stone's Joe Levy called Halsey a "new popstar with a knack for sticky imagery".
Matt Collar of AllMusic wrote in his review of the album: "There's also something angry, literate, and youthfully defiant about Badlands that brings to mind the sneer of Garbage's Shirley Manson. Ultimately, it's all of Halsey's seemingly contradictory elements brought together that lend Badlands such a fascinating topography."