Since the release of her 2016 hit “Ocean Eyes,” Billie Eilish has become one of the most prominent up and coming solo acts of the past couple of years. This success has continued further into her relatively short career, with her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? landing at number one on the Billboard Charts, making her the first artist born after the year 2000 to have an album on the number one spot.
Eilish is also one of the youngest women to reach the number one spot in over a decade. The most recent artist to achieve this was Demi Lovato for her 2009 hit “Here We Go Again” which was released when she was 16.
Although “Ocean Eyes,” launched the daughter of two Hollywood actors into the music industry, the track was originally made for her dance class. The track was submitted to the prominent music streaming platform SoundCloud, and became an online hit.
“My brother had written Ocean Eyes and we recorded it, basing all of the production around contemporary and lyrical dance. I think of most songs that way – if you can’t dance to a song, it’s not a song,” Eilish told the BBC in an interview. “Anyway, we put it on Soundcloud, literally to send the link to my teacher and then it just grew from there.”
While being classified as pop, Eilish is notorious for her lyricism, which often focus on morbid themes that explore depression and self-loathing. This has caused the artist to stand out in her scene, with many praising her lyricism for having a “dark edge.”
“Lyrics are so important but they’re really underrated. So many lyrics right now are just the same thing – ‘Oh, I love you but I’m sad because you don’t love me and… blah,” she explained in the BBC interview. “You can say that in a more interesting way.Me and my brother write a lot of fiction. Like in Bellyache, obviously. I don’t kill people.”
Her style has also caused controversy however, especially when the singer performed a tribute to deceased rapper XXXTentacion, who was killed in a robbery last year. Prior to his death, XXXTentacion was accused of beating his pregnant ex-girlfriend.
“I want to be able to mourn, I don’t want to be shamed for it,” Eilish explained in a recent interview with the Indpendent. “I don’t think I deserve getting hate for loving someone that passed.”
A couple of weeks ago Eilish released a music video for her single “bad guy,” which appeared on When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? The upbeat and danceable track was paired with hilarious off-kilter visuals with Eilish’s mode of dress and unique performance creating a hectic atmosphere across its colorful backdrop.
This latest release has also seen some positive response, with Mxdwn’s Ally Tatosian commenting:
“When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is filled to the brim with personal stories and tracks that quite literally bang. This album is a permanent reminder that the young artist is going to dominate the music world.”