Halsey unveiled the artwork for upcoming album If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power and broke down how it embodies “the joys and horrors” of pregnancy.
She showed off the artful image on Instagram Wednesday (July 7), which depicts the regal-looking “Castle” singer sitting on a Game of Thrones-like golden throne. Halsey, who is expecting her first child with screenwriter Alev Aydin, is seen holding a baby on her lap in the cover shot while exposing her breast, which serves as a nod to the Madonna-whore psychological complex of how women are perceived as either motherly figures whose bodies are vessels for childbearing or sexual beings. In her caption, the 26-year-old artist explains how she believes both ideas “can co-exist peacefully and powerfully.”
“This album is a concept album about the joys and horrors of pregnancy and childbirth. It was very important to me that the cover art conveyed the sentiment of my journey over the past few months,” she shared in the caption. “The dichotomy of the Madonna and the Whore. The idea that me as a sexual being and my body as a vessel and gift to my child are two concepts that can co-exist peacefully and powerfully. My body has belonged to the world in many different ways the past few years, and this image is my means of reclaiming my autonomy and establishing my pride and strength as a life force for my human being.”
Her post also revealed that her fourth studio album, which was produced by Oscar- and Grammy-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails, will be released on Aug. 27. The news of If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power was first announced in late June via a billboard in Los Angeles featuring the album title in faint white letters on a black background, and an Instagram post featuring a snippet of an unnamed song.
To go along with the social media announcement, Halsey also posted a 13-minute video of herself wandering through The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where she first unveiled the cover Wednesday morning. The singer, clad in a low-cut silver sequined halter top and burnt orange head scarf and tunic, observes pieces of art throughout the museum that symbolize motherhood, many of which are interpretations of Mary and Jesus, before she removes the burgundy curtain draped over her maternal artwork.
“This cover image celebrates pregnant and postpartum bodies as something beautiful, to be admired,” Halsey continued writing in her latest Instagram post. “We have a long way to go with eradicating the social stigma around bodies & breastfeeding. I hope this can be a step in the right direction!”
See the If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power album artwork below.