The Musical Style of Billie Eilish: 11 Songs That Tap Into Heavy Emotions and Dark Fantasies
If you haven't heard of 17-year-old singer Billie Eilish — or at least seen any of her creepy music videos — you might want to fire up Spotify or Apple Music, because it needs some updating. Things haven't really slowed down for the Los Angeles native since she garnered widespread attention with the release of her 2016 track "Ocean Eyes" and 2017 debut EP, Don't Smile at Me. She's collaborated with other major artists, including Khalid and Vince Staples, and recently confirmed that she's teaming up with 25-year-old Spanish singer Rosalía. Her first studio album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, also dropped on March 29, just weeks before she's due to perform at Coachella. She'll then kick off her international Summer tour, When We All Fall Asleep.
Whenever I tell people the first Billie Eilish song I ever heard was "COPYCAT," I'm met with confused looks since people typically attribute her breakthrough success to "Ocean Eyes." But I actually couldn't think of a better song to introduce me to her. It came on when I let my Spotify radio play while I was getting ready for class during Fall 2017. As soon as I heard the slow, ominous opening, I stopped and listened. I hung on to every word in the intro. And when the beat dropped, it was over — I was a stan.
Evidently, that led me down the path of Eilish, and I took a deep dive into her music. "COPYCAT" is definitely distinguishable from her typical sound: slow, subdued, wispy. But I ended up falling in love with her other jams. "Idontwannabeyouanymore" and its message of struggling with insecurities particularly hit me hard. It's quite the opposite of "COPYCAT," but it shows how you can have a dichotomous outlook on your own self-esteem. One day, you're loving yourself, and the next, you can barely stand the thought of being in your own skin.
Eilish is able to express all of these different emotions so vividly and visually through her music. And she manages to do so without being tied down to any specific genre. Whether you're feeling low, on top of the world, like you're over relationships, or maybe a little psychotic, there's a Billie Eilish song that probably describes what you're going through. Keep scrolling to listen to some of her best works!