For the second song on this Poetic Playlist, I will focus a little bit more on the artist herself to gain a better understanding of the true meaning behind the lyrics.
Halsey (aka Ashley Nicolette Frangipane — she simply rearranged the letters in “Ashley” to create her stage name, “Halsey”) wrote and performs the song I’m looking at today, “Gasoline.” This song appeared on her recent album, Badlands, in which she thematically weaves allusions to her bipolar disorder. This particular song focuses on the issues of conforming to society and the difficult situations that up-and-coming artists are exposed to in the music industry.
“Are you insane like me? Been in pain like me? Bought a hundred dollar bottle of champagne like me? Just to pour that motherfucker down the drain like me? Would you use your water bill to dry the stain like me?”
So, as I mentioned earlier, Halsey has bipolar disorder, and this song really sheds light on her personal struggle with the condition. The opening line establishes her perspective on her mental state. She details a specific manic episode during which she bought a bottle of $100 wine because she had no control over her emotions or actions (unrestrained spending is a common symptom of bipolar disorder). She literally filled a bathtub in a hotel with the expensive alcohol, which she mentions in the third line.