Halestorm debuted in 2009 with their self-titled studio album. In the years since, they’ve grown into one of rock’s most popular acts with 12 top ten hits on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Airplay chart, with five of those songs topping the chart.
With their fifth studio album, Back from the Dead, due out on May 6, here are Halestorm’s 20 best songs ranked.
A melodic, wistful power ballad, “Bet U Wish U Had Me Back” is a deeper cut from Halestorm’s debut LP and their catalog at large. It showed that from the jump, this band was something special even outside of their singles.
“You've probably never been shut down before/I'll try and make it easier.” “It’s Not You” is what most people only dream of saying to an ex once they move on and find someone else that is infinitely better.
Serving as the opening track of Halestorm’s fourth studio album, “Black Vultures” comes out the gate showcasing Lzzy Hale’s roaring vocals. Halestorm has a number of empowering songs in their catalog, but this track is one of their most aggressive.
This one…is for the ladies! While the rock world often feels like a sausage party, there are a lot more women on stage and in the crowd than ever. The sisterhood shared is the backbone of the entire genre, and this track serves as a rallying cry.
“Yeah, it’s perfectly reckless/Damn, you leave me defenseless/So break in.” Few can deliver a piano ballad quite like Lzzy Hale that walks the line of vulnerability and bad ass-ery, but that’s just another reason why she’s one of the best lead singers in the game today.
Off Halestorm’s latest album ‘Back from the Dead,’ Lzzy Hale said of the track, “'The Steeple' is a true reflection of what music means to me. During our time in purgatory, faced with an unknown future, I had to rediscover why I still loved music, why there was a hole without live shows that could not be filled with anything else. Through writing this song, I found myself again and was reminded of what is really important. This music is our life source, our survival tool, our communion, our sanctuary and our identity. I invite you to scream that anthem with me and get transported back to the first time you were struck by the power of music. Redemption's here at last, back where it all began, in the place where god and the devil shake hands.”
What’s better than a celebratory Halestorm jam? A celebratory Halestorm jam with a buttload of all-star guests! When a deluxe version of ‘The Strange Case Of…’ was released in 2013, this version of “Here’s to Us” was included, and it did not skimp on the guests. Among those providing vocals on the track were Wolfgang Van Halen, Brent Smith, Myles Kennedy, James Michael, Tyler Connolly, David Draiman and Maria Brink. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough star power, Slash knocks out a solo, too.
“Dear Daughter” has a very personal and poignant origin story. Lzzy Hale said the song was inspired by all of the encouragement she heard from her parents growing up trying to pursue her rock and roll dreams. She wrote on her Tumblr about the track, “I think that the words I grew up hearing are something every young girl deserves to hear. They were always simple, yet profound. Hold your head up high, and be you. Always remember that you are like no other. This world is indeed full of pain and fear but there’s also hope and love; it’s how you choose to tip the scale that matters. And no matter what happens, I will be there, and I will always support you.”
“Mz. Hyde” is a title track of sorts. The song is inspired by the classic novel ‘Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,’ but it is more welcoming of Lzzy Hale’s “evil side.” It’s camp with a slice of danger, which, frankly, rock and roll could use a bit more of always.
The lead single off their sophomore LP ‘The Strange Case Of…’, the track marked huge growth for the band coming off their self-titled debut album. Joe Hottinger’s chugging opening guitar riff and Arejay Hale’s intense, feverish drumming take the song to another level. As if that all weren’t enough, thanks to “Love Bites (So Do I),” they’re now referred to as “Grammy Award-winning rock band Halestorm.” What artist wouldn’t love a title like that?
Repeat: Few bands can deliver an empowering anthem like Halestorm, and “I Am the Fire” is one of their strongest. If you haven’t listened to the track in a bit, revisit it now and pay close attention to the acrobatic vocals Lzzy Hale belts out. Just unreal! Plus, the song has one of the most simplistic, beautiful lyrics in Halestorm’s entire catalog: “I am the one I’ve been waiting for.”
AKA: “Voyeurism, but make it a catchy rock song!” While this marked Halestorm’s debut single, “I Get Off” both holds up *and* shows how far the band has come in the years since arriving in 2009. Truth be told, “I Get Off” doesn’t get enough credit for how strong of a debut single it was.
“Amen” has a very interesting and personal origin story. Lzzy Hale told us in a 2020 interview the song was inspired by her cousin who had recently come out as gay. “There's a huge chunk of my extended family that are very religious-based and they were not having any of it,” said Hale. “And so she confided in me for a lot of that period of time…[In the song] I'm talking about, and encouraging, my young cousin -- she's six years younger than I am -- to be herself and to be out about being a lesbian and loving who she wants to love. But I'm also putting that religious twist on it as kind of a middle finger.” Honestly, hooray for that middle finger!
Many of us had that one person we’ve dated that was just not the right fit, but we kept the relationship going much longer than it should have because the sex was just *so* good. Well, this is the theme song for all of those dysfunctional relationships. Also, like its subject matter, “Apocalyptic” is an energetic good time that set the stage for a very impressive third studio album.
“I got a ringing in my ears getting ready to burst/Screaming hallelujah motherf—er take me to church.” Halestorm recorded ‘Into the Wild Life’ in Nashville, and when you’re in Music City, it’s hard not to be influenced by its sound. The country twang is strong on “I Like It Heavy,” but that doesn’t mean the band still doesn’t pack its hard rock edge. If anything, Halestorm help prove the worlds of country and rock aren’t as different as some may think.
Simply put, “Mayhem” is a total banger. It served as the fourth and final single off of ‘Into the Wild Life,’ but for most bands, this track would’ve been a lead single. Then again, Halestorm aren’t most bands, and ‘Into the Wild Life’ was just full of killer tunes. Side note: Want a surefire sign of just how anthemic a song is? When it’s licensed by the WWE to be used as a theme song to one of their events. “Mayhem” was used as the theme to 2016’s NXT TakeOver: Dallas which took place during WrestleMania weekend.
Lzzy Hale told us of “Freak Like Me,” “This is the song that I can trace back to that moment where I was an 11 year old and found out I was not cool, that I was not like the other girls…I love playing that song live. It has become such an amazing anthem for our community. The fans took it upon themselves to change their branding. They used to call themselves ‘Storm Chasers’ in the beginning years of Halestorm. And since that song was released, they'd started calling themselves ‘Freaks.’” In addition to fans finding inspiration in the tune, “Freak Like Me” marked Halestorm’s first number one hit on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Airplay chart.
“Uncomfortable” is Halestorm at their most defiant, and it is glorious! (“I did it all/To break every single preconceived notion/That you have/I did it all to shake every single one of your emotions/And just to make you/Uncomfortable.”) Oddly enough, Lzzy Hale said when she penned the lyrics to this pop-metal gem co-written by the entire band, they came “from a place of joy.” If you’re thinking it’s weird that making people uncomfortable brings joy, well…then clearly you haven’t experienced the unique pleasure of pissing people off with your own happiness, and perhaps you should try sometime.
As Halestorm’s most commercially successful song, “I Miss the Misery” remains an active rock radio mainstay a decade after it was first released. It’s pretty understandable why, too. From its perfect “Oh oh oh oh oh” hook to that outstanding bridge, “I Miss the Misery” is the radio hit that nearly every band strives for but few really achieve. Some songs harken to a certain decade, but “I Miss the Misery” has a timelessness about it that prevents it from sounding dated.
So, why does “Do Not Disturb” have the distinction of topping our list? For starters, the track doesn’t sound like any other song in the Halestorm catalog. Plus, the fact it was inspired by an actual threesome Lzzy Hale had only makes “Do Not Disturb” cooler. (Side note: As for the song’s coolest lyric, it’s a tie between “I love you accent/I wonder what it’ll sound like when you c-m” and “There’s a king size bed, but we can do it on the floor.”) On top of that, the track inspired a unique trend among fans. Hale told us, “When meet and greets were still happening, fans who had spent the night in a hotel room would bring to the meet and greet a ‘Do not disturb’ sign, and I'd sign that. To be able to kind of put myself into other people's lives in that way and show a little bit more about myself, that to me was empowering.” She’s totally right; great sex can be very empowering. For the sake of her and the Halestorm catalog, here’s hoping for more great sex for Lzzy, because it has shown to lead to some amazing work.