Feature Friday: The Billie Eilish Experience
With her anticipated album release last week, Billie Eilish has been taking over the charts with her project When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? The young artist is redefining pop music and what it means to be an artist in the spotlight in general. Her album has been streamed over 118 million times in the five days following its release and is the second most streamed album this year after Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next. This is especially impressive because of how new of an artist she is as this is her debut album, unlike veterans like Grande. With the massive success of this album, the momentum she has right now, and loyal fan base she has grown over the last year, this is clearly just the beginning for Billie Eilish.
More than just an album, “The Billie Eilish Experience” is a dynamic and unique music experience. Partnering with Spotify, they created a playlist for her album release that includes her visual art/graphics, introduction, music videos, and live versions of some of her songs. Releasing the album on this rapidly growing platform with all the new interactive components being added to the app definitely drew more streams for the album with how it created easy access to Eilish and her music. I thought that her release of so many of the singles from the album prior to the album release may have taken away from the overall listening experience, yet the exact opposite occurred. Even singles like “bury a friend” and “wish you were gay,” released weeks before the album, shot up on the Spotify charts when the album was released.
Of course, you can’t talk about Eilish’s new album without the song “bad guy” standing out as a fan favorite. Making it the first song on the album was a good decision, and it reminded me of Travis Scott’s opening song “Stargazing” from Astroworld. Although different in style and genre, the energy “bad guy” brings, the beat change near the end, and the bumping bass took me back to the feeling to listening to Astroworld for the first time. Again, it’s incredibly impressive to me that someone as fresh as Eilish is being compared to people who have established themselves for years in the music industry. “Bad guy” depicts Eilish’s style perfectly through both the lyrical content and production, definitely serving as the perfect opening to this game-changing album.
In addition to the music itself, her music videos have received positive attention for her bold style, unapologetic weirdness, vivid special effects. Again, her Spotify project release was unique in that for the first time, videos were included on Spotify, highlighting Eilish’s intriguing visual master pieces along with the album. Claiming to be an ‘anti-pop’ pop artist puts Eilish in a really special position in music right now. Being as young and influential as she is, she is truly redefining the genre in her own way. Staying true to herself, not molding into the typical image of young women in the spotlight, she makes her own space instead. Intentionally making you uncomfortable, her videos feature images you normally wouldn’t see in a pop music video. Her lyrical content also follows this strange style of being uncomfortable but alluring at the same time, especially coupled with the vibrant production of the music.
At the age of 17, Eilish is already gathering incredible momentum and success, bringing her unique and fresh style to the forefront of music. When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is Eilish’s brilliant and intentional artistry come to life. With beautiful, flowing ballads that show off her smooth voice like “i love you” and “when the party’s over,” to upbeat, bass-heavy hits like “you should see me in a crown” and “bad guy,” Eilish gives a little of everything. Being as versatile, developed, and as comfortable with herself as she is, Eilish is definitely stealing the spotlight in 2019. Redefining what it means to be a woman in music by being so genuinely and unapologetically herself, Eilish has created her own style and is making room for a new generation in music.