I think we can all agree that it’s been a decently long, everlasting drought in female pop music. Sometimes I can’t even remember what this genre meant before Lorde, Lana Del Rey, Dua Lipa, and Kesha dropped albums this past year. But fear not, there is another revolution upon us. In fact, 15 of the albums recognized in the Rolling Stones’ “20 Best Pop Albums of 2017” were by women. Come on. Don’t act so surprised. Oh, and the other 5 albums that made the list were from each individual member of One Direction. (Kidding. Kind of.)
That was 2017. So… what’s next? It’s an exciting time in the world of pop music—with growing subgenres like Art Pop, Electropop, Synth-pop, Indie Pop, etc., the possibilities are endless. I know what you’re thinking: “Omg Kristin, I don’t even know where to start! Plz help me!” Well, lucky for you, I have recently fallen in love with an artist who has made me feel things I haven’t felt since the release of Melodrama in June. That’s when you know it’s the real deal.
Allow me to introduce Billie Eilish. Spunky, flashy, and hilarious, Billie is bringing some certainly unique components to the table this year. Ranging from soft, melodic songs to upbeat bangers, the variation that Billie applies to her record is unparalleled. Her debut single, “Ocean Eyes,” is a soft, vocally-driven song that stole the hearts of millions after its release on Soundcloud in 2016. The most surprising part about Ocean Eyes? Eilish was only 14 years old when it released! When I was 14, my only accomplishment was reaching 20 followers on my angsty Tumblr account. Clearly, the maturity of Eilish’s voice and lyrics peaked the interest of many (myself included!)
However, she did not stick to the dreamy, ballad-like vibes produced in “Ocean Eyes.” When her next song, “Bellyache,” released, fans were shocked to hear Billie’s calm voice singing about….. murdering someone??? Eilish opens the song with “Sitting all alone/ mouth full of gum/ in the driveway/ my friends aren’t far/ in the back of my car/ lay their bodies.” Upon the release, Eilish expressed in an interview with Billboard that the song was just her imagination and that she didn’t actually have any intentions of killing anyone:
“It’s really fun to put yourself into a character — into shoes you wouldn’t normally be in,” Eilish explained to Billboard. “You don’t have to be in love with someone to write a song about being in love with someone. You don’t have to hate somebody to write a song about hating somebody. You don’t have to kill people to write a song about killing people. I’m not going to kill people, so I’m just going to become another character.”
Her first album, “don’t smile at me,” dropped in 2017, and quickly inspired many other artists. Several collaborations were released in the following months—including remixes with Marian Hill, Vince Staples, Troyboi, and more. So, what makes Billie a unique candidate for collabs? For starters, the use of synthesizers combined with heavy bass and electronic beats contrast wonderfully with Billie’s sultry voice. It also helps that most of her songs incorporate an underlying tone of hip-hop and house.
So, if you have been looking for a fresh face in the scene of pop, I definitely recommend giving Billie Eilish a listen. I have a feeling we can expect big things from her in the next few years.