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The Allure of Billie Eilish

Shivani Tripathi

Posted on May 13, 2019 00:44

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Billie Eilish has become one of the most popular singers of 2019.

“Step on the glass, staple your tongue, (ahh)"

"Bury a friend, try to wake up, (ahh)"

"Cannibal class, killing the son, (ahh)"


Think you’re reading an excerpt of a cultist speech? Actually, these are lyrics from the Billie Eilish song entitled “Bury a Friend.” Like many of her other tunes, “Bury a Friend” has ascended the Billboard charts and become one of the most popular songs of the year.

At just seventeen years old, Eilish has already left her mark on pop and teen culture. With her silver dyed hair, baggy designer shirts, and beach shorts, Eilish defies the status quo with her unprecedented image. Her audience views her style as a testament to her authenticity, providing a refreshing break from the dozens of airbrushed stars splattered across social media.

Eilish’s authenticity can further be seen through the lyrics of her songs. Many singers brag about parties, money, and other idealized aspects of their lives in their music. Eilish, on the other hand, often sings about her loneliness, depression, and imperfect love, concepts that are relatable to a variety of audiences.

For example, in her song “When the Party’s Over,” Eilish described the rush of loneliness she feels after she comes home from a party. The video depicts her drinking a glass of black liquid, the fluid replacing her tears when she cries afterwards.

Not all of her lyrics have a deeper meaning. In fact, people love Eilish because some of her songs are about completely normal things. In her song “Bad Guy,” she sings about her bloody nose, crawling on her "tippy toes," all while describing herself as a “bad guy.”

Some of Eilish’s lyrics can be interpreted as extreme, like her music about death. “Bury a Friend” came out during the winter of 2019, receiving much critical acclaim. Earlier in her career, she released “Bellyache,” where she sings about feeling a pit in her stomach after killing those who made her life worse.

In contrast to her lyrics, Eilish’s voice is soft and airy. Her vocal talent, along with the indie pop instrumentals, give her music a unique touch, as well.

I wonder how long Eilish’s stardom will last, and whether she will maintain her unconventional image throughout her career. With over 20 million followers on Instagram, Eilish is constantly lauded by fans. At the same time, people have been complaining that she tries too hard to be "angsty," and that it’s only a matter of time before public interest fizzles out.

Will Eilish’s stardom persist, or will her eccentricity eventually lose its appeal? Only time will tell.

 

Shivani Tripathi

Posted on May 13, 2019 00:44

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Rolling Stone Music Now podcast on 2019's biggest young artists, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X

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