BY Stephanie Pettway
Billie Eilish. The 17-year-old pop singer who is showing that pop music can have a dark side. Think of a darker Lana Del Ray, or Lorde, or even Kanye West during his “Yeezus” era, and you get Eilish. Having a soft, and wispy voice that carries most of her songs with a heavy bass, a simple piano, or even a ukulele or guitar, Eilish is not the average young singer.
With her Aug. 2017 EP, “Don’t Smile at Me,” Billie made a splash with her song “bellyache,” in which she entertains a fictional scenario about having a vendetta against her own friends. With this rather twisted song, she sets the tone for the type of music she wants to share with her audience, and she continues it in her first full-length album, called “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?”
With a modern yet familiar sound, Eilish reminds fans why they liked her in the first place, while also catching the attention of people like myself, who haven’t heard her music before. The album experiments with many different sounds of electropop, indie, and alternative.
I am going to start with my favorite song, “my strange addiction.” It features samples from NBC’s “The Office” and a groovy beat that can’t be ignored. I am not usually someone that likes repetitive songs, but this is one of the few that is catchy and gives me a bit more substance.
Sampling other artists’ songs has been a longstanding practice, but who has ever heard of someone sampling a popular TV show? Having that sample playing over an electronic beat adds an extra bit of individuality that shows not just her interest in (and maybe even addiction to) the show, but also Eilish’s fun side – the side that we get a glimpse of in her intro track to the album, “!!!!!!!,” on which we can hear her audibly taking out her Invisalign and stating thus: “I have taken out my Invisalign and this is the album.”
Another stand-out is the longest song, “I love you,” wherein Eilish sings over a guitar and you literally fall in love. It’s a sincere ballad of a rocky relationship. It brings you through the motions of a relationship that you should hope not to experience: loving someone when you know you shouldn’t. It’s a distinctive love song, although featuring a rather standard melody, but it’s nice to know that Eilish is not entirely wrapped up in electropop and Auto-Tune; she has a voice that can convey her honesty too.
Singles “bury a friend” and “when the party’s over” are unique songs, and each give a good taste of the album as a whole.
“Bury a friend” is the song that gives me that “Yeezus,” “Black Skinhead” vibe; it’s a young female perspective with the same amount of angst. It gives off a spooky tone with a monotonous bass and makes you think about the concept of what happens to us when we fall asleep. Kanye makes us think about a similarly complex theme in his song.
In the music video for “you should see me in a crown,” you get to see Eilish explore arachnophobia. In the video she wears a crown as a spider crawls on her leg, arm, face, and even out of her mouth.
“When the party’s over” is about just that – what happens after the end of a party. It’s about leaving someone you love, letting them go, saying your final goodbye. This song completely sums up the adolescent and young adult moods that we currently feel.
This album made me a fan of Eilish, and makes me excited to listen to her prior and future projects. Though age should not be a factor when it comes to talent, I am very impressed with just how much talent Eilish has at just 17 years old. She captures all the moodiness and angst that we all feel, no matter what age we are. It just goes to show that she is only just getting started. I expect she will have much in store for us as her career progresses.