• Darby VanDeVeen

Hailee Steinfeld's "Half Written Story" Explores the Ending of Relationships

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Hailee Steinfeld explores every facet of a breakup from the initial shock to the acceptance that the relationship is over.

Hailee Steinfeld’s newest EP, “Half Written Story,” explores the end of a relationship, the good, the bad and the angry. It was released on May 8th, and is part of a two-part project. With previous pop princess hits like “Starving,” “Most Girls,” and “Love Myself,” Steinfeld holds true to her self-love brand with her newest project about putting herself first.

“I Love You’s” is the first track on the album and sounds like Steinfeld through and through. The first track feels like hope, declaring “No more I love you’s until I’m OK.” The light and airy sound is borrowed from Annie Lennox’s 1995 “No More ‘I Love You’s.” Steinfeld takes this song and makes it her own with a bright pop twist.

One of my favorite things of a new release is finding where the title comes from, and it gets pulled from the second track, “Your Name Hurts.” Steinfeld sings about the pain at the end of a relationship, and all of the messy, complicated feelings that come with it. Lyrics like “I hope my name hurts you too,” are a simple reminder that she is hurting, and hopes that she isn’t the only one brusied from the end of the relationship.

A fun take on the Nat King Cole classic, ‘L.O.V.E,” Steinfeld changes the lyrics during “End This (L.O.V.E)” and turns the song around completely. While Cole has a saxophone ladden, dance-around-your-bedroom-with-stars-in-your-eyes type of love song, Steinfeld embraces a sultry sound. She proclaims that “L is for the way you lied to me/O is I’m the only one who sees that/ V, you’re so vindictive, so I’ll be vicious and/ E-N-D this L-O-V-E.” I love the creativity in the lyricism and the complete 180 it does from the source material. The “Starving” singer holds nothing back on this song.

Following the trend with “Man Up,” Steinfeld lightly raps about a past love who hurt her. Opening with a baby voice telling the boy to “man up,” the beat and flow of the song taps into the hurt that Steinfeld felt. She draws in the idea of a child by using an auto tuned baby voice throughout the track. She projects her anger about the situation with a more humorous tone.

The EP ends with “Wrong Direction,” the first single from this new project. Compared to the rest of the EP, “Wrong Direction” is a more somber version of Steinfeld’s acceptance of her role in her pain at the end of the relationship. The song opens with the singer saying that she just “hates all the hurt that [they’ve] put [her] through.”

Overall, I am excited to see what else Steinfeld has put out, and to potentially cry, scream the lyrics in my car, or dance to these the next time a boy hurts me. The second part of this project is to be released sometime this summer.

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