Courtesy of Interscope

April 8, 2019

TEST SPIN | Billie Eilish — ‘WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?’

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17-year-old Billie Eilish became a musical sensation after her debut single “Ocean Eyes” released in 2016. Since then, “Ocean Eyes” has been viewed over 90 million times on Youtube, and Eilish has garnered 37.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, making her the 15th most listened-to artist in the world on the platform. It’s also impressive how she managed to establish a tight-knit fanbase with only one studio-produced single and EP. For instance, if you were to walk into my sister’s room, on the wall beside her bed you’ll see a collage of pictures of her at summer camp, some ripped off New Yorker cover magazines and then — boom — a gallery of Eilish’s merchandise, stickers, posters and magazines. Eilish has become more than a musical talent; she is a figure in pop culture that many young adults throughout the world, including my sister, relate to — especially those who deal with sleep disorders since Eilish, herself, has been open about her struggle with sleep paralysis.

With “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?,” Eilish fixates on the notion of what happens when you fall asleep, as each song touches on some event that occurs during some phenomena of sleep — whether it be lucid dreams, nightmares or sleep paralysis. In fact, the highlight of Eilish’s debut album is its versatility. Eilish’s voice is dreamy, melodic and dynamic, able to smoothly climb its way up and down notes. Even more, the production — the album is produced solely by her older brother, Finneas O’Connell — and the lyrics — written by Eilish and O’Connell — perfectly accompany the talent of Eilish’s voice. Songs like “wish you were gay” and  “8” utilize acoustic guitars and provide a cleaner sound. Compare them to “ilomilo” and “bad guy,” which utilize 808’s and provide a more surreal and distorted sound. This broad range keeps listeners engaged and although they seem to have opposing sounds, the placement of each song is intentionally put so that the transition between them is elegant and non-abrasive.

Overall, this album is a nine out of ten. This is a must-hear project from an artist you absolutely should get to know. Billie Eilish is young, charismatic and artistic — she has fun making music, and “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?”  definitely showed off her creativity and her ability to express sophisticated concepts. Her career has just begun and her potential is tremendous. I’m excited to see what’s in store for Billie Eilish.

 

Jeremiah LaCon is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at jcl345@cornell.edu.