Billie Eilish

I know what you are thinking: who the hell is Billie Eilish? You're not alone with this question if you are over a certain age, but for the youth Billie Eilish has become a bit of a defining voice. Her Gothic bass heavy style is unique for young pop stars. You won't find any bubblegum here, nor will you find Billie going on many vocal runs. Her skill comes from knowing when things should be a slow burn, a deep flame that burns with ever present vigor. "xanny" a song about not actually taking the drug has this bass flowing through it that is pretty magical. The song itself feels like a old school ballad, complete with a twinkling piano and some gentle strings in the background. However when the bass punch comes it it affects the entire sonic experience. Everything rumbles even her voice like the bass is breaking through every inch of sound to crawl into your ears. There are also tons of ambient sounds throughout the record, like Billie checking her Uber rating or communicating with her producer. It adds a softness to an album that would otherwise be super heavy. The opening track is full of laughter and frivolity but then "you should see me in a crown" feels almost Nine Inch Nails level industrial. The first comparison to draw is Bjork because her music feels so open to absolutely anything. Because she doesn't over sing it allows her to get into these really complex ideas and song without diluting them with vocal runs.

"wish you were gay" feels like one of the most 2019 songs I have heard throughout the entire year. Billie manages to capture this Millennial sensibility where everything is open and free with sexuality falling within that spectrum. So much is done with the moments where there is no sound like on "when the part's over" where Billie lets silence be her punctuation rather than a beat. So many artists want to beat you over the head with their sound, which works sometimes but it is far more compelling when someone doesn't have to hammer the point home for it to connect. I'm sure all this sounds like Billie Eilish is some established artist who has been doing this for years, but she is only 17 and this is her first full album. To be this bold and this good at this young is really amazing. This album is not for those who are looking to turn up or find the next club banger, even though the entirely strange "my strange addiction" might low key be just that, it is about some deep emotional shit. There were a lot of claims of being "overrated" floating around when it came to Billie, but she has silenced any haters with this record, it is splendid.

8.5 out of 10


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