Music

Billie Eilish Awakens Fans with Debut Album

Courtesy of Alexandra BakerBillie Eilish released her first single, "ocean eyes," when she was 13. Now at 17, she just debuted her first album.

Billie Eilish’s debut album, “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?,” is a beautifully weird mix of music from haunting tunes to distorted vocals and references to “The Office.”

Eilish burst into the music scene with her dreamy single, “ocean eyes.” She makes music with her brother, Finneas, and recorded “ocean eyes” when she was 13. 

At 17 years old, she has multiple singles and an EP under her belt along with a collaboration with musician Khalid.

“WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?,” released March 29 on Interscope Records, packs in 14 tracks and runs about 42 minutes. Eilish’s voice is angelic yet moody, adding a dark touch to her music — including her more upbeat tunes.

As Eilish’s first album, the opening track is appropriately titled “!!!!!!!” — the kind of eager reaction someone might express over a text about a big debut. This isn’t even a song — it’s a clip of a conversation where Eilish announces the start of her album while audibly taking out her Invisalign retainer. 

Although the album’s title is stylized in shouting all-uppercase letters, the song titles are all-lowercase.

Most songs on “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” have a goth-pop vibe. Her whisper-like voice adds a spooky atmosphere to the bass-heavy “bad guy” and has a heavenly presence in “when the party’s over.” In “8,” her voice is mixed to sound childish, and “xanny,” a woozy, drug-inspired track distorts it.

“wish you were gay” is a relaxed ballad, but it’s misleading. It’s not about a same-sex relationship but rather, it’s about a girl being romantically rejected by a boy.

Ears of “The Office” fans will likely perk up listening to “my strange addiction.” It features clips referencing Michael Scott’s (Steve Carell) dance routine, “The Scarn” from the episode “Threat Level Midnight.” “my strange addiction” turns “The Scarn” into a gothic, less annoying dance bop about dependency on someone. The cherry on top of the quirky song is her line, “shoulda taken a break, not an Oxford Comma” referring to a break from addiction — and the beloved, yet unnecessary, punctuation mark.

The final sing, “goodbye,” is about two minutes long and is a recap of the album. Eilish croons excerpts from all the previous titles in a haunting farewell. Although it’s a goodbye to the album, Eilish will likely remain embedded in the musical landscape for a long time.

“WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” is just the beginning for Eilish, and the album is available to stream online. Eilish is expected to perform at the Aragon Ballroom (1106 W. Lawrence Ave.) June 9. Tickets are available online.

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