Billie Eilish shares personal struggles in debut album

Courtesy of Interscope
The cover art reflects some of the album’s darker themes, especially evident in songs like “Bury a Friend.”

Claire Neiberg | Staff Writer

04/04/19

On March 29, teenage pop sensation Billie Eilish dropped her long-awaited debut studio album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

The 17-year-old has been producing music since her first single “Ocean Eyes” gained popularity in 2016. Her new album features her latest hits as well as a plethora of new, groundbreaking music.

Eilish’s album is definitely worth a listen, as it is a reflection of what one can produce through personal struggles, passion and a strong support system. While many of her songs are dark, there are several asides where Eilish is caught giggling, such as the first track, adding to the authenticity of the album and exposing the lighthearted side of her personality.

The other songs on the album are greatly diverse. While some of them are melancholic ballads, some have more upbeat and electric notes in them (“Bad Guy,” “You Should See Me in a Crown” and “Bury a Friend”) as well as a ukulele (“8”). They invoke an array of feelings from empowerment to reflection. Her music is often described by fans as relatable, as her lyrics span themes that include heartbreak, depression, euphoria, excitement and death. The album parallels life’s emotional rollercoaster.

At first glance, Eilish comes across as solemn, detached and unconventional. Her most iconic photos feature her with a tarantula in her mouth or blue tears streaming down her face. However, in an interview with Vanity Fair, Eilish gets personal with her fans and discloses her struggles in the most intense year of her life.

Eilish describes her style in the interview as “judge me, please.” She has gained many fans due to her refusal to conform to modern day standards of beauty and creating her own style. Between her always-changing colored hair and her oversized hoodies, Eilish has made an image for herself that reflects her music as well. Her music is raw, original and easily distinguishable from other pop artists.

Despite her young age, Eilish demonstrates a level of maturity in her music and interviews through her understanding of heavy social topics. Her disclosures about heartbreak and depression come across in a deeply poetic manner in her interview and in her song, “When the Party’s Over.”

While she presents herself in a strikingly confident manner to the press, the interview reveals that she struggles with sadness as well as immense amounts of stress. “[Sadness] ruined so many things that could have been amazing … because I was sad,” Eilish said.

Eilish also suffers from Tourette’s syndrome, meaning her nervous system is effected, causing her to experiences tics which affect her family life and her career as an artist.

With her struggles comes her ability to recognize the importance of the support from her fans. As she states, “The shows and the support make it worth it. That’s something you have to remember when it doesn’t feel worth it.”

While she has gained a myriad of wealth and recognition over the last year, the shock of being famous at such a young age has evidently taken a toll on her mental health. It is something to keep in mind while listening to her album, as it explains her strangely beautiful style and the album’s ability to dive into the depths of the human soul.

 

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