If you aren’t following Billie Eilish yet, you aren’t paying enough attention. Her breakout single Ocean Eyes (written and produced by her equally talented brother FINNEAS) was released when she was just thirteen, and she’s been unstoppable ever since. Now sixteen, with a successful EP under her belt and an album on the way, Billie is back with lovely, which has to be one of the most emotionally impactful pop releases of the year so far.
The track, written by FINNEAS, Khalid, and Billie herself, is a masterful combination of intriguing lyrical snippets, sorrowful harmonies, and a stunning violin. It builds steadily, with layered harmonies between the two vocalists that meld with the strings to create an emotional climax near the song’s conclusion. Khalid and Billie’s voices sound amazing together, and the two have enough stylistic overlap to make an excellent collaboration without being so similar that it’s boring. In short, lovely delivers on what it’s title promises, although perhaps not in the way most would expect.
Every time Billie proves her amazingness with another release, buzz around her age recirculates. This is definitely understandable: I’ve pointed out her age already, and the things she’s managed to accomplish while so young are incredible. But Billie’s music isn’t just impressive when compared against her peers, it’s impressive, period. She has a knack for capturing the social nuances and emotional turmoil of being a young person in this hyper-sensitized, media driven age that is rivaled by few. Her writing is witty and accessible, and her branding oozes charisma.
Currently, her fanbase is largely comprised of high-schoolers, which makes sense given that her writing is most relevant to that demographic. But people outside that group would do well to appreciate her more closely and recognize her as the brilliant creative force she has proven to be. Referencing her age should communicate the impressiveness of her music, rather than to delegitimize it.
lovely is a beautiful collaboration that indicates exciting things for Billie’s debut album, due sometime this year. Prepare yourselves: if her past releases are anything to go by, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be spectacular.