The growing compilation is a whole lot of feelings in just twelve minutes.
Billie Eilish is a literal prodigy of electro pop. At fifteen years old, she’s already selling out shows in the wake of her forthcoming debut EP dont smile at me, due out in full on August 11th.The LA-based indietronica rebel gained a wide following after the soft and angelic track “Ocean Eyes” was remixed by Astronomyy and the more sultry “Bellyache” was tweaked by the famous songwriting duo Marian Hill in May. Needless to say, what we’ve heard so far is pretty deserving of the hype.
As of last week, four tracks have premiered on Spotify from this new and highly anticipated album, dont smile at me. I think we can all agree that the name alone has an ideal amount of “fuck you” attitude, yet the first taste of Billie’s newest music direction includes a sweet and honest ballad called “idontwannabeyouanymore”. The song is surprisingly subtle, a lamentation seemingly directed towards the world at first and then inward. The patience in the development of this melodic and melancholic pop ballad shows an evolved sensibility from such a young artist.
The next, slightly more biting track is an anthem for all the rebels out there. The derisive lyrics and dissonant melody punctuated by a bombastic bassline balance Billie’s angelic vocals throughout. Turn up the volume for this beautifully broken ballad and get ready to bounce.
Next up, “watch” is a surprisingly uplifting addition which describes her experience with unrequited love and stumbling through relationships; essentially it’s relatable AF.
The latest addition “my boy”, which dropped on Friday, is a groovy and effortlessly cool track, featuring all kinds of scatting, dope vocals, seriously badass beats, and salacious lyrics. The rebellious attitude is out in full on this funky two and a half minute song; towards the end, an unidentified female voice encourages “alright dude, go trip over a knife.” Mic drop. (But then picked up again because the rest of the album is yet to come!)
Altogether, the impact of dont smile at me thus far is reminiscent of pop predecessors such as Lana Del Rey, Halsey, and Lorde, both vocally and thematically. Thanks to the impeccable execution courtesy of her producer and brother Finneas O’Connell, her level of musicianship has been raised to hang with any modern electropop icon out there. Furthermore, Billie’s unique point of view aesthetically and as an artist has translated into an extremely compelling narrative which we will continuously await with baited breath.