Bad at Love

Album: Hopeless Fountain Kingdom (2017)
Charted: 5
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  • Lyrics
  • In this song, Halsey outlines all the reasons she is "bad at love," but keeps persisting anyway. The singer penned the tune in the midst of a breakup, as she drowned her sorrows with chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
  • Hopeless Fountain Kingdom is heavily influenced by Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film adaptation of Romeo + Juliet. This song is an extension of the doomed love story as Halsey identifies with Leonardo DiCaprio's role from the romantic drama. Recorded in Los Angeles with her producer Ricky Reed, the singer repeatedly told Reed that she really wanted the tune to "sound like Leonardo DiCaprio in a Hawaiian T-shirt in a droptop yellow convertible car - driving down the highway like in Miami Vice with all his friends."
  • Much like another HFK track "Strangers," Halsey indicates at her bisexuality in her lyrics, by alluding to same-sex relationships. In this instance, the first verse is about a boy back home in Michigan, and the second concerns a secretive affair with a London girl. Halsey admitted to Billboard that her relationships have one thing in common: She's not very good at love.

    "Going through one by one in my head thinking about each individual relationship and what I did to f--k it up," she explained.
  • Directed by Halsey with Sing J. Lee, the song's music video features the singer on the run in the desert. A continuation of her "Now Or Never" clip this finds the songstress in an open top car which pulls into a gas station, where she meets some unlikely new friends.

    According to the clip's press release, "capturing dystopian chic like only she can, our heroine recounts one failed, albeit hot, love after another as her journey twists and turns through a wild wasteland."

    Sing J. Lee also collaborated on the Now Or Never" video and has also worked on clips for the likes of Muse and Charli XCX.
  • Halsey concludes that her relationships don't work out because:

    Jealousy gets the best of me
    Look I don't mean to frustrate
    I always make the same mistakes
    Cause I'm bad at love
    But you can't blame me for trying


    "It's tongue in cheek... I'm poking fun at myself," Halsey explained to ABC Radio. "There's a bit of optimism in it, but really, it was about going through these relationships I'd been through - whether meaningful, or flippant and spontaneous at the time - and just looking back on them and realizing, 'Wow, I've really messed things up along the way.'"

    "Hopefully," she added, "True love is out there for me somewhere."
  • Halsey wrote "Bad at Love" with Ricky Reed and Justin Tranter in Los Angeles. She recalled to Billboard that they came up with an ABBA-type melody (the "I believe, I believe, I believe" part), then the singer sat with her phone in the corner for a while, furiously writing notes. After about 20 minutes Halsey got up and told the other two, "OK, I got it." And then she went in the booth and started singing all four verses in succession, "Just kind of spit them off the top of my head."

    Halsey added that a lot of the song is those first takes, "So it was this stream of consciousness, almost freestyle in a way, which is why I think it feels really conversational when you hear it."
  • The song title came from Justin Tranter's personal experience. He explained to MTV News that when he in his 20s, he was really "bad at love." The songwriter added: "I probably still am, which is why I married myself. It makes for a much easier relationship."
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