Every time we are overwhelmed by a new phenomenon, we need to define it, give it a name, identify it and compare it to something we already know to try to reduce its complexity. That’s the way we are.
But when we are faced with Billie Eilish every attempt we make goes to shit. And that’s because when we believe we have finally found the key, at the end we realize that it’s only half valid or that it’s not at all.
On the contrary, at just 17 she already knows everything about us.
They say that when someone understand our weaknesses we are completely fucked and so we are when Billie Eilish says that she knows what we are afraid of.
“I just love the idea of glorifying people’s biggest fears. You know, people are freaked out by needles, people are freaked out by things under the bed and people are really afraid of the dark … I just really wanted something that’s going to kind of make you jump a little bit” – she said in an interview with NPR.
And we are freaked out by the things we don’t know, like that place where we go when we all fall asleep. But even more we are afraid of the people we can’t define, like her.
Here’s everything we know about Billie Eilish.
She is seventeen-year-old singer-songwriter from LA who started making music in her bedroom when she was 13 by uploading Ocean Eyes, a soul track produced by Finneas O’Connell, her older brother, on Soundcloud. In 2017 she released her debut EP, dont smile at me.
She used to write the titles of her songs in lowercase, she often changes hair color, she likes Tierra Whack, she has 16.3 million followers on Instagram.
But… what do we talk about when we talk about Billie Eilish? This we still do not know.
Does she scare us? Well, in a sense, yes, but we are hopelessly fascinated by her as we are by horror movies, or by the unknown.
After the release of When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Billie Eilish was defined as “the new kind of pop star“, “the future“, “global icon” and things like that.
I agree more with something like “Billie Eilish is everything the music needs in the future”, because, although it’s easy to reduce her music to pop, I believe that her debut shows us how uncertain are the borders of her sound.
Across these 14 songs, Billie Eilish talks about Gen-Z’s hunger for reality, mixing pop and electro-pop with folk and EDM. So, somewhere in the album we think we got it: “ok, Billie Eilish makes pop music”, but then she arrives with another track that makes us say “ok, no… this is EDM”, and then another one that… “WTF???”.
The productions are strange and beautiful, sometimes hard and distorted, sometimes warm and delicate. Similarly, sometimes we see her laughing and joking in the interviews, and sometimes we see black pitch dripping from her eyes.
Probably we don’t understand her because she belongs to the post-millennial generation, or to another solar system. But she is real.
She is not a dream, she is not a nightmare. She is Billie Eilish.
From now on, the letter “B” of the music alphabet belongs to her.