Yet Another Halsey Mystery: LXXXXP and IICHLIWP

I have to admit, I haven't exactly been keeping up with Halsey lately. Or, rather, there hasn't been much to keep up with since Halsey has (mostly) taken a social media hiatus since announcing her pregnancy. She's recently popped on to Twitter and Instagram here and there, but everyone started to wonder if she'd forgotten about the last handful of promised secrets from December of 2020. We should've known that Halsey never forgets about her promises and also that she would never forget about us. 

One thing that really got this blog off the ground were my posts chronicling all the new information about what Halsey was up to creatively following her mysteries, so if you missed those, check out the one on Badlands Anniversary and for what turned out to be About Face. They promised that each surprise would only get bigger, so fans are already thinking that this could mean the forth album is somehow upon us. 

At any rate, let's dive into what we know so far on the evening of May 24th (discovered around 3:20pm PST). 

*all photos can be clicked on to view in higher resolution. 


It starts with the website that left an open door at the end of the Badlands Anniversary saga. You can read that post for the full details, but basically, she signed the letter at the end of the Badlands adventure "Love Always, Halsey". Love was hyperlinked to a new website primed to launch a new mystery- lxxxxp.com. At the time, the website was totally dormant; black screen and no info. There weren't any clues in the coding. 

Today, it's come to life with all the bells and whistles associated with a perfectly tailored Halsey mystery. Taylor Swift is seen as the queen of Easter eggs, but Halsey takes it to the next level, sending us on full on scavenger hunts across the internet. Even though I haven't really been in the fandom for months now, the second I saw this emerging online, I ran to my laptop thoroughly back in the thick of things. Much of this credit goes to Halsey Updates on Twitter who has been collecting information from everyone on what they've discovered. 


When you view the website, you get to the page that says, "Enter your email to flip the coin". This is typical Halsey fair. I cannot tell you the number of times I've given Halsey my email in the last year and a half. Once, you've handed over your personal information, there's a page that says LPIV at the top (to me this reads LP {LP was in her Twitter bio for many months before becoming xo} like limited play, or album, and then the Roman numeral 4. Manic was Halsey's third album, so album 4 makes sense as a clue. The timing is a little confusing given what's been going on in Halsey's life recently, but they obviously have been planning this since at least the very end of August when the letter came out. And she did promise that each secret gets bigger. 


There's also a Greek or Roman style ancient coin and four bubbles that get filled with each flip of the coin. The coin has an L on one side and a P on the over with IV close by. The edges of the coin also have the numerals IV CXLIVVP IV IICXLIVVP from what I can tell. P is not a Roman numeral, so it's hard to find an answer in a number here. Fans have pointed out that this arrangement looks very similar to the new Instagram handle (more on that in a second). There is a right answer here. The first four times I clicked the coin I got LPPP, which got me the message "All of This is Temporary" and asked to try again. Another possible message is "Why do you need love so badly?". The correct answer is LPLP. I've also had PPLL work after I cracked the code the first time (@Gold1elox also DM'd me to note that LPPL works as well). If you can balance Ls and Ps, it seems you can gain access. When you get to that combination, the coin ruptures to unveil a bubble that reads IICHLIWP. Clicking that button will take you to Halsey's other favorite mystery trope- cryptic Instagram accounts

This one is currently set to private. The handle is also iichliwp, which is probably the acronym for a title. The bio reads IICHLIWP "All of This is Temporary" (like the failure message) and it links to the lxxxxp webpage. It has six posts at the moment, 2 followers (Halsey and her manager Anthony Li) and is following one person. 

iichliwp page

Halsey Updates has also done some further digging that I wanted to note down because things get lost so easily on Twitter. The profile picture on Instagram is of a painting. That painting is Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. It's part of the Melun Diptych by Jean Fouquet painted in oil sometime in the early 1450s. This was commissioned by the French king's treasurer, and it seems like Fourquet was a popular painter for the court. It shows the Madonna with baby Jesus posed in a way that implies your prayers would be answered (if I correctly read the interpretation from the top Google search result). It was meant to hang in a church, but the art itself offered many contradictions to that holy placement. I'm not sure if there are any clues in that art history lesson, but I certainly tried to parse something in my reading.

Updates also ventured into the source code and uncovered a possible Facebook live event. There's nowhere on Halsey's claimed websites that indicate that something is scheduled, but this might be the next plot twist headed our way. As of 6:00pm PST, she's trending on Twitter over this. 

Here's a shout out to my favorite fan theories I've spotted so far about the game and IICHLIWP

@LEAVEMEMOONFLWR pointed out that flipping mostly L's gets to the "why do you need love" answer while mostly Ps gives the temporary answer. Only a balances gives you the Instagram page. She theorizes that you have to balance love and paint succeed or find the art. 

@goldenightmares added on to that saying that her guess about what IICHLIWP means is "if I can't have love I want pain" which is fascinating, and I love it, even if it doesn't turn out to be the answer. Love vs pain is the flip of a coin. 


I've also been thinking about Halsey's drawing that she share a while back explaining how all of her albums exist in the same universe. The Badlands are a bubble that hold a mountain range and the door that leads to Room 93. Manic exists in Halsey's head inside that room. Hopeless Fountain Kingdom the the heavens. But there's also a fiery Underworld that doesn't have a label yet. I think we're headed into the Underworld album (maybe Punksey). I especially think this because the website has little fire embers in the background and you're supposed to flip an ancient looking coin to gain entry into whatever this mythical world is. Per Greek mythology, the dead were often buried with a coin to pay their passage over the River of Styx to get into the Underworld. I think that's the lore that she's pulling from setting up this album, and that's really exciting for me as a total Greek Mythology nerd. 

I also can't stop thinking about Halsey's gorey interpretation of the Manic album cover for Halloween. It has an extremely similar vibe to whatever is going on with lxxxxp. 

Another super popular theory is that this new project is somehow connected to HFK. Some people think it's the release of the live version of HFK from Webster Hall, but I don't think Halsey's would've used LPIV if it wasn't a fourth album. Other connections to HFK include the idea that it's a sister album like a heaven and hell thing. There are many Shakespearean nods in the new clues as well that would tie back to the Romeo and Juliet theme of HFK. My favorite Shakespeare connection comes from @roomforletters pointing out that one of Halsey's tattoos that has the quote "these violent delights have violent ends" in the same font that the lxxxxp website uses. Whether we're still in the Kingdom remains to be seen, but nearly every theory about LP4 goes back to HFK at the moment.

I'll keep updating you as information comes in, and if you have any theories, Tweet me @mslaniebrice. I want to know what you're thinking. I'm in serious disbelief all of this is happening right now. 

May 25th around 11:00 AM PST: The IICHLIWP Instagram is now off of private, which is only one of the turns of vent that have happened today. The six mystery photos have been unveiled from the account, and it now has 5,898 followers, which I guess tells you the size of the most intensely invested Halsey fandom. 

Here are the six posts:

These are the six photos that have been gridded out, and they paint a grim picture. The fire seems to be a consistent motif. There's candles and some sort of bonfire represented. 

There's also a jug or urn of time kind that does look vaguely Greek in style like the coins. There's also a foggy forest and a hand grabbing a knee. The hand appears to be bloody. This immediately brought "The Prologue" on Hopeless Fountain Kingdom to mind with the lyric, "hands so bloody/tastes like honey". I still maintain that this page is giving me different but related vibes to HFK, and I don't think it's the live album, but there are clear correlations. 

There's also a graphic that reads "All of this is temporary", which seems to be the motif of the album or projects so far. It's still in the bio and it's appeared on the website. Now it's in the grid. I'm definitely keeping an eye on that concept.

She hasn't captioned any of the grid posts and there are no stories, so it's hard to tell the context of what's going on yet. But this does seem to be its own entity. Halsey dropped clues about the Badlands live album through the Badlands account on Twitter and her personal Instagram. A separate page was created for what became About Face to launch the make-up brand through. Now that it's off private, we also know that these posts went up about 20 hours ago so they probably went up last night. 

Also, in another twist, the HFK accounts seem to be waking up which creates a curveball in the forth album theory unless, of course, they are sister albums. All of the headers of the HFK accounts (@lunaaureum, @solisangelus, @houseofangelus, and @houseofaureum) were briefly deleted about an hour ago according to @halseyupdates. It remains to be seen how that will develop because the headers have been restored at the time of writing this and the profile pictures are the same. It seems like some things are shifting behind the scenes as this happened just when the IICHLIWP account went live. 

May 27th: Halsey posted on her Instagram with a cryptic post that could potentially connect to this mystery. She captions the post, "Soaking up that moonlight" with a moon emoji and a photo of her standing in front of a sun mosaic that feels in the style of all the art that IICHLIWP has used. The moon and sun were a huge part of the HFK lore (the main characters being Solis and Luna). This might not be connected, but I figured it was worth noting down as a potential clue knowing Halsey.


May 30th around 9:10 PST- And we're back! After a bit of a silent lull, the show is going on.  IICHLIWP just posted on their story with a poem that you'll recognize if you've read Halsey's poetry book, I Would Leave Me If I Could. On a piece of ancient, tattered paper that matches the Renaissance feel of the rest of the page, there's a poem from Halsey's book. It's in the same font and format as it appears in the book. It's one of the most hard-hitting poems in the book. It reads:

"WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY"

I am not allowed to die anymore.

Believe me, I have tried. 

In the poem, Halsey acknowledges the weight of being a famous person with millions of people looking up to her. This poem also feels like an echo of a Tweet she sent earlier in the month which was basically her return to Twitter after a months long hiatus. 


These two pieces of information might not be connected at all, but they struck a similar chord in my heart. I love how open Halsey has always been with us, and I also appreciate how aware she is of her responsibility as a high profile person. 

I'm intrigued to see where this will go because so much of the poetry book included expanded versions or variations of her past lyrics or songs. If these were made in tandem, the poetry book could have lyrics from the new project. And if that's not the case, maybe we're not looking at a new album after all? We're all well aware that all of Halsey's projects are linked, but it's interesting to see these two integrating so clearly. 

June 4th around 10:30 PST: I'm finally back because there's a new twist in this mystery. The IICHLIWP account has followed another account besides Halsey for the first time- IMAX. This is an unexpected twist and hints that maybe we're not in for another album but possibly a movie instead. Or, at the very least, this fourth album could be a soundtrack to this movie. 

Halsey recently tweeted about a movie she was supposed to be involved in that got derailed. This mention really came out of the blue a few weeks ago, but looking back, it could be a clue... On May 18th, Halsey quote tweeted a fan who had screen-shotted an article from the HFK era about Sony developing a movie about Halsey's life. In response she wrote, "bc alev was supposed to be writing it for the past 3 years and we slowly fell in love instead. you know the rest!" Is there a chance that this project did actually get completed? This is a twist I didn't see coming, and it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

June 13: There's a new post on the IiCHLIWP Instagram that looks like a signed piece of parchment, possibly signed in smeared blood? I'm hoping it's just red ink, but this goes along with the dark, creepy, ancient vibe of everything else they've posted. It has a word written in loopy cursive letters that are hard to read. The first letter looks like an S to me and the end looks like a Y. The general consensus is that it actually says Halsey despite the first letter looking like an S. It's the only thing that makes sense because the other main idea is that it says Slahey or some variations of that that are also not real words. So if you have a guess, let me know. There's no caption, so I'm not sure what I'm supposed to make of this post. The silence on this account seems to span for weeks on end between cryptic posts, so I'm not sure when this mystery will be solved. 


And here's an explanation of how that could possibly say "Halsey":

 

June 19: I'm a couple days behind on updating this post because I've had a lot going on, but I'm going to try to document what's been happening in the last couple days now:

First off, there's new posts on the IICHLIWP page that are in the same Renaissance painting vein as before. There's no captions, and they don't offer a ton in the way of clues as to what's happening with this movie/album/whatever else Halsey might have up their sleeve. While no one has any new theories, many people did observe how similar many of these images were to the story of Romeo and Juliet, which was the basis for Halsey's sophomore album, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. 


It's the middle photos that offers the most potential clues. The middle crest says "The Life of Dan", and there's a second emblem off to the right side that says "The Life of Man Symbolized by Months of a Year".  Under the middle emblem it also has an inscription that I believe reads, "As one of us to know good & evil", but these words could be meant in a different order because they appear quite jumbled. The final phrase at the bottom right reads, "Illustrated John Leighton". A quick google search turns up that there's an English artist who lived between 1822 and 1912 by that name who gained prominence for his book of illustrations. The third painting is of Lady Lilith by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the first painting seems to be from the romance novel The Hidden Heart. (Thank you to Halsey Updates for compiling some of these more obscure references). 

None of that tells us much without context, but that middle frame seems important as it was shared the next day on Garett Hilliker, Halsey's graphic designer's, Instagram story. And on the IICHLIWP, they added another photo of a coin from the website bursting open. 

The only other significant change is that Halsey has deleted her Twitter bio, but still hasn't replaced it yet in the last few days. This might be signaling that the big reveal might soon be upon us. 

June 21st: Here's a new major clue. Halsey loves to incorporate small audio clips into her websites to offer clues, and now we have our first for LXXXXP. If you get all Ls or all Ps, you can listen to a clip of music that is definitely Halsey's voice and has a very floaty, dreamy sound. Everyone is obviously back to the album theory, which has always been my favorite. With the IMAX follow, though, I think it could be a movie and a movie soundtrack as the album or a concept album with a large visual component that goes beyond music videos and into more of a feature film sense. 

June 22nd: Halsey has been sending out mysterious post cards to fans that have a wax seal on them that read H4. This seems to further point towards the album theory.

June 27th 7:00pm PST: It seems like Halsey is finally wrapping up this long running mystery tomorrow. Minutes ago, on the IICHLIWP Instagram account, she posted a set of coordinates with the caption "tomorrow".

 The coordinates are hard to read in the post, but it reads 34.090618.-118.385437. More importantly to all of you, though, Halsey Updates figured out where the coordinates lead. The spot points to a store in West Hollywood near the venue Whisky A Go Go that seems to be closed right now. She could be leasing out the store for some kind of pop up shop for H4, but street view shows that there is a massive billboard over the store, so she could also be pointing to the fact that whatever the secret is will be unveiled on that billboard. Either way, this will be a significant spot, so if you live in LA, you might want to keep an eye on the area tomorrow. 


What are you expecting tomorrow? The H4 on the post cards seem to point to a fourth album, but the IMAX follow and Halsey bringing up the movie about her life from 2018 that disappeared into thin air also offers a different set of possibilities. Personally, I'm wondering if this is a visual concept album or if H4 is the soundtrack to that movie. The Renaissance vibes, though, seem to point to a world totally of its own for the new art (though possibly one connected to HFK?). I feel like all the theories are still so scattered leading up to the big reveal! 

June 28th 7:00AM PST: So far, there's little to report from announcement day, but @badlandsvirgo is camped out across the street from the coordinates gathering information for the rest of us. She confirmed that the building seemed to be a real estate listing office so a pop up shop is pretty much out of the question. They did start changing over the billboard 10 minutes ago, so it seems like we'll get our answer soon. 

7:44 AM: The billboard is almost entirely up, and it confirms that we are getting a FOURTH ALBUM FROM HALSEY!!!! The billboard reads IF I CAN'T HAVE LOVE I WANT POWER: THE FOURTH STUDIO ALBUM BY HALSEY. Apparently, this is supposed to stay under wraps until (I'm guessing?) the social media announcement, but she did tell us where to go and what to look for yesterday. But there's your answer everybody. 

I'll keep updating this throughout the day with more information as it comes, but thanks for coming on this ride with me!

9:16AM: Halsey has officially announced the album and shared a short video with a piece of the song and a video of the billboard! The date of the album is yet to be announced, but enjoy the clip! She also added that the album was produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

7/2- Stay tuned on July 7th for Halsey's big announcement of the cover art, release date, and possibly the track list. Also visit loveandpower.com to see the eerie countdown clock. If you visit the site on the hour, the plaque will start bleeding for an extra creepy addition.

7/7- Halsey has unveiled the artwork for If I Can't Have Love I Want Power. As fans predicted, the cover is an recreation of the first Renaissance painting she shared with all of us. The one that's used at the start of the article for the article artwork. After about ten minutes of wandering through the MET with an elaborately costumed Halsey, she pulled aside some drapes to reveal a massive version of the cover. 

Loveandpower.com has now been updated with the artwork as well as a link to preorder the album. The merch shop is now open with a variety of vinyl and box set offerings. Also, the album will officially release on August 27th per Halsey's Twitter. 

If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power Album Art


7/13- As many of us predicted when IMAX followed the IICHLIWP account a month ago, there will be a visual component to the album in the form of an hour long IMAX movie which will debut in theaters globally. With a Game of Thrones vibe and the movie themed around the horrors of pregnancy, childbirth, and the labyrinth it creates that some don't make it out of, this looks like it will be an intense viewing experience. The production value looks out of this world, and Halsey is well known for translating her music into stunning videos. No word yet on when the movie is premiering exactly, but tickets go on sale August 3rd and more information on theaters and times will come soon. You can watch the trailer on YouTube, her website, and social media now. 


Halsey also had a rare print interview and photoshoot go live today with Allure Magazine. They rarely gives print interviews because they always feel like they're misinterpreted in other people's writing, but the new piece shares details about her pregnancy and relationship with Alev for the first time.

Comments

  1. heads up, the book doesn't say "Life of Dan" but "Life of Man." If you look up "The Life of Man Symbolized by Months of a Year" the same book cover as the instagram post comes up in google images.

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  2. The artwork/imagery on the IICHLIWP instagram seems to center around artwork/art themes that was popular in the 1860s. The "Life of Man symbolized by Months of a Year" illustrated by John Leighton was published in 1866 according to Google Books. According to abebook.com, the book has a series of illustration and passages from ancient to modern authors that correlate with each season and phases of the year.

    The painting of the woman combing her hair is Lady Lilith by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. It painted in 1866-68. The model is Fanny Cornforth, the artist's mistress. In 1872–73 the face was altered to show Alexa Wilding, who was another model who frequently sat for Rossetti's paintings. However, Wilding was not Rossetti's mistress. Lilith is a biblical figure, said to be Adam's first wife who refused to be subservient to Adam, so she left the Garden of Eden.

    (I think it's also worth noting that in the IICHLIWP instagram profile picture, The Melun Diptych, aka Virgin and Child Surrounded By Angels, the model for Mary was the artist's mistress.)

    Romanticism and Realism were the primary art movements in the 1860s (Impressionism as an art movement was still pretty new in 1860).

    The other image, the cover of the romance novel called The Hidden Heart by Sharon Shulze. According to Goodreads, the book is about two former lovers who meet again, but the man is hiding his identity for some reason, so his former lover pretend she doesn't know him, and then relearn who her lover is. . The novel is set in 1312 in the Welsh marshes. This book is a Harlequin Historical novel.

    Then, on the lxxxp.com site, after you flip the coin and gain access the instagram page link, a scary face flashes on the screen, then instrumental music plays.

    It kind of reminds me of a spooky horror movie soundtrack. I couldn't help but to think of Bram Stoker's Dracula, because Halsey's hinted at things with bloody imagery (Plus BANKS recently released her single Devil, which has imagery inspired by Bram Stoker's Dracula, so that's been in the back of my head.) Dracula, the gothic horror novel, was published in 1897.

    That doesn't follow the trend of artwork/book being from the 1860s, but it was published in the late 1800s.

    Plus, interestingly enough, when reading up on Dracula the novel on wikipedia, it's said that the novel Dracula was a response to the gothic novel Carmilla, a lesbian vampire romance novel, published in 1872. (1872 is closer to the 1860s than 1897 is, so I'll take it.)

    And even in the novel Dracula, the theme of gender and sexuality (especially homosexuality) are significant, especially how the characters invert Victorian gender roles.

    Considering Halsey sexuality, I wouldn't be surprised if they are toying around with inverting traditional gender roles in her next album.

    The main themes in gothic fiction involve horror, death, and sometimes romance. The images on the IICHLIWP instagram page do fit the gothic aesthetic.

    I also want to note that gothic fiction has a close relation to Romanticism, so that could be something to keep in mind.

    I've looked at some other literature/authors that were popular in the 1860s in American and British Literature, but so far nothing has really stood out to me (I'm not super familiar with that time period, unfortunately).

    There seems to be a pattern with mistresses and inversion of traditional gender roles, gothic fiction influence/themes, so my prediction is this album is gothic-inspired (both thematically and aesthetically), focusing on learning to balance love and pain in a relationship. Regardless of what happens, I'm excited to see what Halsey has up their sleeve next.

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