Billie Eilish: 5 Songs You Need To Know
© Jaesung Lee
Raised in a musical household, rising star Billie Eilish scored her first viral hit at 15. Since then, she's recorded with Vince Staples and fellow pop prodigy Khalid, making her one to watch in 2018.
Teenage pop stars are nothing new, but finding a 16-year-old singer-songwriter with this much poise and prose is a lightning bolt most rare. Billie Eilish, one of our Artists to Watch in 2018, was raised in Los Angeles by a musical family. She began writing her own music and lyrics at 11, often collaborating with her elder brother, Finneas O'Connell. Her natural tongue is smart and biting, playing with the cynical side of teenage angst but with enough confidence and sly wit to impress the most discerning adults in the room. She signed to Interscope at 14, and by 15, she had her first viral hit. Last summer, she released her debut EP "don't smile at me," and she hasn't shown any signs of slowing.
Bold style, alluring charm, undeniable talent and a tinge of emotional danger give Eilish an unforgettable signature. To hear her once is to fall in love, which helped earn her first gold certified record without radio play. Whether she plays ghostly, vulnerable or vindictive, she's coming for your spins and undying love. Get smitten with the five must-hear tracks below.
1. "Ocean Eyes"
This dreamy heartbreak melody was the first song Eilish ever recorded. Originally written by her brother for his own band, the siblings came together to finish the tune after Eilish's dance teacher challenged her to write an original song to choreograph to. They shared the song to SoundCloud and stumbled on an overnight blog hit. It was released as an official single of her debut EP, and today has more than 46 million streams on Spotify.
Placement can be monumental for an emerging artist, and Eilish landing this tune at a prominent moment in the Netflix hit show "13 Reasons Why" helped her sultry vocals pierce the hearts of millions. Its apathetic take on twisted modern romance stands in stark contrast to saccharine cliches, in turn giving Eilish the mark of a star at first play.
3. "&burn feat. Vince Staples"
Eilish originally wrote “&burn” as a solo, but once experimental hip-hop darling Vince Staples heard her devilish croon over the stark, textured beat, he had to hop on. It's all the sensual power of a woman scorned with the fiery MC as an exclamation mark.
A lyrical reference to the Pixies is only one millionth of what makes this stand-out single cool. Ethereal vocals tell the story of a detached girl killer over a dynamic rhythm, and a vibrant and fashionable music video captures the eyes of almost 12 million YouTubers. “Bellyache” is her second biggest hit on Spotify, too, with more than 41 million streams.
5. "Lovely feat. Khalid"
Now that she's got everyone's attention, she's partnered with fellow old soul Khalid on a powerfully sparse ballad. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies, and “Lovely” relates to anyone who's ever felt alone in a crowded room, painting anxiety beautifully over emotional piano, percussion and strings.