Billie eilish is the most important young artist of the 21st century, being the first born in this century to have achieved a number 1 in the US charts, with ‘Bad Guy’, and the first to do so also in the UK, with ‘No Time To Die ‘. Now she has just released a new song, My Future ‘, co-written and produced by her inseparable brother Finneas O’Connell. So I take the opportunity to highlight my ten favorite songs by a singer who has not yet turned 19 (she will do it in December) but who already has a good handful of great songs (not for nothing have I been left out things like ‘ You Should See Me in a Crown ‘,’ Ocean Eyes’, ‘idontwannabeyouanymore’, ‘My Strange Addiction’ or ‘No Time To Die’ itself).
The first Billie Eilish song that had an impact was ‘Ocean Eyes’, recorded in October 2015 and published the following month on SoundCloud, Eilish was not yet 14 years old, she would do it in December, and her brother Finneas, co-author and Producer of the same, he had just turned 18. This is how precocious this artist duo is who released their first EP, ‘Don’t Smile At Me’, on August 11, 2017, just three years ago, with this song as a preview and as the best example of the great things that were to come. You can appreciate the many influences of the O’Connell brothers, from longtime pop (the song is composed on a simple acoustic guitar), hip hop or contemporary R&B, not to mention electropop and the chorus synthesizers. All rounded off with the ghoulish lyrics Eilish is so given to, here she is a psychopath who kills all those close to her. From such a tender age it was clear that Eilish and her brother were much more than just a fan phenomenon.
9. My Future
We went from the oldest song on this list to the most current, Eilish’s new song, released in July of this year, sees her become a whispering jazz singer, wasting class trying. Its slow and somber beginning is like a caress on a summer night, until it changes with a light rhythm and a slightly funky guitar reminiscent of Sade’s ‘smooth soul’. You can see how, at 18 years old, she is full of confidence in herself and in her future, something, on the other hand, totally logical when you have had a career like hers.
8. When the Party’s Over
The first two singles from ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’, ‘You Should See Me in a Crown’ and this ‘When the Party’s Over’, caused the fever on the artist to rise like foam. This song is the most spartan of the entire album, built with countless vocal takes, layers and layers of her voice that are only accompanied, from the minute it starts, a ‘sub bass’ and a piano. It is one of her most personal songs, one in which the teenager is seen, not the pop star. Published in October 2018, the video has more than 500 million views on YouTube.
7. Wish You Were Gay
The last single published before the appearance of his first album, ‘Wish You Were Gay’, was surrounded by a bit of controversy, because many of his fans, who already knew the title, expected a song in favor of the rights LGBTI and not the lament of a teenager who, when she is rejected by the boy she likes, dreams that it was for a reason as simple as that he was gay, “Don’t say that I’m not your type, just say that I’m not your sexual orientation preferred “. It is a totally understandable feeling, in one of her most conventional songs and, at the same time, one of the most beautiful, with one of her best melodies and an impeccable pop chorus.
6. Bury a Friend
When Thom Yorke says “you’re the only fucking interesting thing out there”, Jeff Tweedy covers your songs, Dave Grohl compares you to Nirvana, Bono chooses one of your songs as one of his lifelong favorites, Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr go up on stage with you and Jack White begs you to record a live album on his label is that you have to have something, if you are not yet 20 years old, then you are a fucking phenomenon. That’s what this girl is, a phenomenon that has taken the reins of pop and has shown that those born in the 21st century are not musical illiterates lacking in all taste, listen carefully to this ‘Bury A Friend’ with that sinister production and Finneas ‘ugly’ who seems quite influenced by Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’, to understand all the flattery.
5. I Love You
‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ It’s such an incredible album that, despite having seven notable singles, songs as good as this one or ‘Xanny’ weren’t the chosen ones. And this acoustic wonder of devastating beauty is good enough that Jeff Tweedy, a guy who has also written a good number of acoustic songs of devastating beauty, decides to make a version of her. The naked performance that the two brothers made on ‘Saturday Night Live’ is remarkable and shows that, despite what their critics say, their voice is pure sentiment, even if it does not display technical histrionics.
4. Everything I Wanted
It was normal that Billie ended up dedicating a letter to her brother Finneas and, despite the fact that she is the public face and the one who signs the solo albums, they are a creative couple and Finneas has co-written and produced all their songs. Released on November 13, 2019, just eight months after the release of the hit ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’, It is an elegiac song and a precious tribute to the relationship between these two brothers. Its impact is well explained by the fact that Bono, the singer of U2, decided to choose it as one of the ’60 songs that saved my life ‘and saying things about it like “I enter your song and it is of a black beauty, incredibly vulnerable and terrifying. “
3. All the Good Girls Go to Hell
The sixth single from ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ is one of her most immediate and catchy songs. Built on a totally funky bass and a hammering piano, it has one of the best videos of an artist who has not neglected her audiovisual production.
According to Eilish herself, this song has a “very jazzy, close to Frank Sinatra” feeling, although I doubt very much that ‘la Voz’ had put in those dirty and distorted bass that appear here. The lyrics talk about the danger of using Xanax as a recreational drug. Her vocal performance on this song seems especially brilliant to me, both in the whispering lead voice and in the choruses and harmonies that she does herself. She is one of those singers that you believe every word of, raising texts that, read without further ado, seem nothing special.
1. Bad Guy
Released as a single on the same day as ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’ Was released, ‘Bad Guy’ would become the biggest hit of his career, and his first No. 1 in the US, showing that Billie and Finneas had the ultimate ace up their sleeve. With just a kick drum, a synth bass, a few finger snaps and an infectious melody they have delivered a song as huge as it is infectious, something like ‘Seven Nation Army’ for Generation Z. That opening riff will remain in the memory collective, making this song one of those that will be remembered as the most important, and best, of the decade we have just left behind.