Over the course of the last few months, internationally-known pop star Billie Eilish has teased and released parts of her new album, “When we all fall asleep where do we go?” She released three songs from the album, their respective music videos as well as bits and pieces from new songs on her instagram — which has over 15 million followers — before releasing the album itself. With this big of a platform, and Eilish only just turning the ripe age of 17, you would expect a relatable-in-an-angsty-way album filled with references mostly understood by Gen Z-ers that’s exactly what it is. Being only 17, Eilish touches base with many of us with her first track (no, it isn’t a song) where she removes her transparent aligners in somewhat of a gross ASMR-type snippet while pronouncing the start to her much awaited album.
The first track of the album not only introduces the rest of the songs, but it also reminds listeners of her age and how she is still full of energy and bursts of emotion. Eilish chooses to include and emphasize the little imperfections in many of her songs, such as the absent-minded humming, random spoken comments (which turn out not to be so random in some songs) and giggles in the background. Upon releasing the album, Billie took to her social media and asked her audience to listen to the album in order, and this was for a reason.
However, the interesting aspect about the album actually lies among the storyline Eilish tries to tell. With each song, she ties back to the message in the title of the album, which revolves around uncertainty, the unknown and fear. The album also highlights the highs and lows most people experience in their teen years in the form of both energetic and moody songs. Her outbursts of energy are very clearly heard during “Bad Guy,” a vivid and colorful tune with an almost obnoxious bass. She snaps along to the beat, accompanying it with controversy-sparking lyrics as she claims she’s “the bad-type, make your mommy sad-type, make your girlfriend mad-type, might seduce your dad-type.” This track is accompanied by a similarly-colorful video and focuses on hemophobia, or the fear of blood. Throughout the video, Eilish is pictured bleeding from her nose as she sings “White shirt now red, my bloody nose/ Sleepin’, you’re on your tippy toes.”
A couple of tracks later, Eilish continues this raging angst with “all the good girls go to hell,” a song with a similar steady beat, but a darker approach. This theme resonates until the very end, where she lands an impressive line with “Even God herself has enemies.” This boost of energy continues until the ninth track, titled “my strange addiction.” While the title itself sets a quite serious tone, the track is sprinkled with sample dialogue from the popular TV show “The Office” and haunted with the sound of guitar strings almost as if someone was toying with them.
The album ends in a song trio that definitely slows down the whole album and sheds light on aspects of true depression and unhealthy habits. “Listen Before I Go” puts listeners in the mind of someone contemplating the end of life as the sounds of police sirens and hospital noises clatter in the background. This sets the stage for the last “true” song, “I Love You,” a track that, like the previous one, gets the audience “in their feels.”
Despite a few moments that toy with Eilish’s persona, When we all fall asleep is both lyrically and melodically beautiful. Not only does she spill her truth about life itself, but she does so in a way that mimics everyday’s ups and downs. Eilish is currently preparing for her upcoming international tour, which sold out (in the US) within the first two weeks of tickets being released. You can find her merchandise here, and any other information regarding her tour here.