When we all fall asleep, where do we go?
April 1, 2019 5:55 PM   Subscribe

Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O'Connell is 17 years old. She lives with her parents in a small 2 bedroom house, has Tourette's, makes music at home with her brother, and recorded her first song when she was just 13. Since then, she has already had over a billion plays, and just released a debut album that is rapidly climbing the charts. She has gotten praise from Thom Yorke, Sporty Spice, and Paul McCartney. Dave Grohl compares her to Nirvana, and showed up for her recent appearance on Ellen. With a colorful gothic horror aesthetic that is somewhere in between NIN, Bjork, Sesame Street , and Lana Del Rey, she's an up-and-coming phenomenon (all links to her songs). Watch out, Despacito.
posted by weed donkey (32 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Ooooh me likey!! Thanks for sharing this
posted by supermedusa at 6:16 PM on April 1

Thanks! I didn't realize how home-grown she was (for lack of a better word). I've been enjoying how weird "Bury A Friend" is since it popped up in my Spotify, and now the latest New York Times "Diary of a Song" video confirms it! (This video is embedded in the "over a billion plays" article you posted, but I thought it was nice to share separately, too!) Thanks for posting.
posted by Zephyrial at 6:27 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]

Here are some of her popular songs (in a previous era, these would probably be the singles off of her album):

Bury A Friend
Ocean Eyes
You Should See Me In A Crown
Bad Guy

(The first two are linked in the NYT article)
posted by mhum at 6:28 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]

She's been signed to Interscope since 2016, she's not that home grown.
posted by Spacelegoman at 6:31 PM on April 1 [9 favorites]

really liked this interview in the fader by meaghan garvey (my vote for the best music writer working right now)
posted by JimBennett at 6:42 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]

Billy Eilish eats hot wings.
posted by Nanukthedog at 6:42 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]

Oooh that NYT Diary of a Song link is really good. Thanks for point it out.

I like how it breaks down just how compositionally weird Bury A Friend is.... and I like she is doing field recordings of her teeth being drilled.
posted by weed donkey at 6:50 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]

Her publicist should get a raise. I never heard of her before this week and suddenly she's on every single website I read.
posted by potrzebie at 7:09 PM on April 1 [17 favorites]

She’s fun and interesting, the album is great, and I’m so happy my 14 year old daughter is obsessed with her instead of, say, Bieber.
posted by schoolgirl report at 7:16 PM on April 1 [7 favorites]

I enjoyed this review of her album by Carl Wilson at Slate.
posted by fever-trees at 7:17 PM on April 1

Billie Eilish is what Lorde was supposed to be before Taylor Swift got a hold of her.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 7:18 PM on April 1 [9 favorites]

I was pleasantly surprised by this given that I stopped listening to new music in about 1998.
posted by piyushnz at 7:18 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]

Her publicist should get a raise

The original company she had a deal with (Platoon) was acquired by a company you’ve definitely heard of. I’m sure everyone involved is doing great.
posted by sideshow at 7:18 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]

Adore her! And her work has already spawned a parody.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 7:35 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]

My daughter has been listening to Billy Eilish for at least a year now. Billy is a little dour for me but there's no denying that she has talent. Good for her for getting this kind of success. I hope she handles the attention well...

There's a crop of introspective, folky, quirky musicians who are doing quite well for themselves based on young teens, buzz, Spotify and Youtube. One of my daughter's classmates has a pretty decent song on Spotify that, given the right people listening, should do well. There's another young lady in England by the name of Dodie who is also quite awesome. There's others but I can't remember their names at this point. South African Matthew Mole has been around for a while but maybe not to American listeners. There are youtube channels devoted to this style of indie/underground stuff, which is where I heard two of my favourite songs of last year.
posted by ashbury at 8:13 PM on April 1 [3 favorites]

I've heard Ocean Eyes on and off the last couple years, but this new crop of tracks seems to be a whole other level. Billie and her brother are showing some crazy huge talent. Among women artists who seemed to pop up out of nowhere (but of course they didn't really) and absolutely came out guns-blazing, she sort of reminds me of Fiona Apple and St. Vincent.
posted by tclark at 9:10 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]

The first song of hers/theirs I heard was Wish You Were Gay which... I love the beat but the lyrics are a big turn-off personally. So I'm happy to hear other songs by her/them that I am WAY more into, because I initially noped out after hearing that first one.
posted by Snacks at 9:40 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]

When The Party's over is a current favourite of mine. Beautiful. So good that her other stuff, which is decent, pales in comparison for me.
posted by nnethercote at 10:20 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]

First heard of her yesterday through this kinda bittersweet now/then Vogue self-interview.
posted by J.R. Hartley at 10:52 PM on April 1 [6 favorites]

I heard her name mentioned and saw posters promoting her album, and my first thought was that “Billie Eilish” is the titular character of some new horror film, and is either a haunted child who sees (ghosts/the undead/terrible premonitions/horrors beyond the veil of reality) or a vaguely creepy-girl-shaped demon-thing like Momo.
posted by acb at 4:39 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]

This acoustic version of Copycat (featuring guitar and backup vocals by Billie's brother) is the first thing of hers I ever heard, and it's wonderful.
posted by ourobouros at 4:45 AM on April 2 [2 favorites]

I also found her through that Vogue interview, although I had heard of her before. And I am also on the When The Party's Over train. I introduced her to Kid Ruki (it always delights me to introduce the kid to music, but I feel a special accomplishment when I discover contemporary music first) who still can't get over the fact that Billie is only two weeks older than her.

Kid Ruki and I also have a selfish reason to want Billie Eilish to do well. Kid Ruki's middle name is also Eilis, and now more Americans know how to pronounce it!
posted by Ruki at 6:15 AM on April 2

Billie Eilish covers Michael Jackson's "Bad" for Australian "Like A Version"

Her brother is a remarkably tasteful acoustic guitar player
posted by blob at 7:16 AM on April 2 [3 favorites]

Isn't "Bury A Friend" just "People Are Strange"? I'm not really harshing - every generation should have its own "People Are Strange".
posted by Chitownfats at 11:18 AM on April 2 [1 favorite]

Scary deathgirl earworm floaty hallway injection mommymommymommy music
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 12:25 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]

Weird. I just heard about this kid yesterday...I thought it popped up because I was because I was watching Billy on the Street videos. Very impressive.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:06 PM on April 2

I am so confused... I am the opposite of young or hip, and I know who Billie Eilish is. I feel like My Boy was a thing? It got solid summer radio play two years ago? (It has 50 million plays on YouTube and those didn't, like, just happen this week.)

what is happening I haven't been ahead of the curve since cabbage patch kids

Anyway she's really great. Delighted more people like her now.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:07 AM on April 3 [2 favorites]

Reminds me a little of Ghost Buffalo. This is great.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:39 PM on April 3

tclark: I've heard Ocean Eyes on and off the last couple years, but this new crop of tracks seems to be a whole other level.

Agreed. I watched it again today, and it's decent, but her new material is significantly improved.

And the comments are fantastic.

billie at 13: making gorgeous songs
me at 13: still watching peppa pig

Bills at 14: singing this song
Me at 14: sitting here got 45 min thinking of a good comment

Billie at 14: Makes Ocean Eyes
Me at 14: wears blue eyeshadow and pink mascara and spends all her time doing myspace quizzes.

Billie at 13: writes amazing songs with over 100 million views
Me at 13: has trouble getting out of bed

Billie at 16:singing like an god
Me at 16:trying to memorize the lyrics to baby shark
posted by filthy light thief at 8:34 PM on April 6

A Brief History of Billie Eilish’s Extremely Gen-Z Addiction to The Office -- Filed under: "and that's how you do the scarn" (Clare Palo for Vulture)
It has become perhaps the defining postmillennial rite of passage to binge the entirety of The Office on Netflix as fast as humanly possible, then binge it all over and over and over again, then quote and meme it as if to create an alternate internet world where the show is still going. Now, the teens’ newest queen, 17-year-old SoundCloud-born genius Billie Eilish, has immortalized the show by using it in one of her own songs. Her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, samples an episode of The Office on its ninth track, “My Strange Addiction.” “No Billie, I haven’t done that dance since my wife died,” Michael Scott says. The song is a Gen-Z’er’s fever dream, strategically placed in the middle of a dark, depressing album. It’s also only just the latest stage in her brief, but already-spiraling addiction to The Office. Allow us to explain.

She’s watched every episode of The Office, 12 times over.

Eilish’s relationship with the Dunder Mifflin sitcom is a long and personal one, or as long as such a relationship can be for someone who was born four years before the show debuted in 2005, anyway. In a recent interview (Elle), Eilish says watching The Office is “like therapy,” and she has to watch the show when she does anything: “When I wake up, I put on The Office. If I’m making a burrito, I turn on The Office.” The addiction is so serious, she claims to have watched every episode of every season, 12 times over.
Billie Eilish gets love from ‘The Office’ actress after debut album drops -- We love this friendship. (Alex Darus for Alt Press)
Angela Kinsey, who plays Angela on the show, took to Instagram to congradulate Eilish on the album following its release.

Kinsey shared a photo of her with the 17-year-old musician, and even referred to herself as Eilish’s mom.

“We met at the San Francisco airport awhile back and I’m a dinosaur so I had no idea how talented you are!!” the caption reads. “I have loved catching up with you on Instagram. And the song My Strange Addiction has a nice lil’ snippet from Threat Level Midnight! (Wikipedia) Your #theoffice Mom is over here rooting for you! Way to go!”
posted by filthy light thief at 7:56 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]

I love the podcast Switched on Pop in general, but their episode on Billie Eilish is extra good: Billie Eilish is a Different Kind of Pop Star
posted by purpleclover at 11:46 PM on April 27

« Older You ain't never had 5 friends like me   |   "It was built on our watch and it needs to burn on... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments