Even without delving into the musical culture of the 21st century, it is impossible to pass by Billie Eilish. Back in 2015, with the song Ocean Eyes, produced and written by her brother Phineas O’Connell, the girl attracted the attention of the public. And already in 2019, having released his first studio album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” , debuted at the top of a huge number of charts, thanks to the fifth track of the album “Bad Guy”. The track earned the artist the title of the first artist born in the 21st century with a chart-topping song.
The second album of the singer called “Happier Than Ever” was released on July 30, 2021 and managed to set a record before its release. Apple Music pre-order record with over a billion listeners in anticipation. The album tore apart the charts. What was the Billboard Top 100 worth with as many as nine Billy songs on the list. And in Hot Rock & Alternative Song, the entire album went to pieces. And the title track with the same name as the album opened many charts.
Interesting facts and history of creation of the song
Although it is the sixth song within the album, music journalists praised the track and considered it the main feature of the release. This is quite logical, because, as critics have noted, Eilish’s vocal part is very emotional and loud.
Loudness is more about emotional input. It is felt that Billy again lives those sensations and pain, which are sung in the song.
Emo, pop punk, white people soul. Three styles of music that complement the story told in the composition, keep the dynamics and add an emotional color.
Soft vocals, classical guitars and bass at the beginning, gradually swinging, reaching their climax in electric guitars and drums.
The 64th Grammy Awards honored the song with four nominations, including Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video. At the MTV Video Music Award, the song was nominated in many categories and won the award as the best song of the year. A Nickelodion Kids Choice Awards awarded the composition the title of “Favorite Song”
It is worth mentioning that, according to the singer herself, self-reflection and life during the pandemic became her main source of inspiration for the album.
When the “When We All Fall Asleep” part of the tour ended in the summer of 2019, Eilish recorded the melody for the song with her brother Phineas on an $80 cheap guitar and sketched out the lyrics for the song about the situation in which she was then. Work on finishing the track continued only eight months later, when it began to actively create an album and ended in May or June 2020. O’Conneall wanted the music to complement Billy’s emotionality rather than overshadow it. The acoustic performance is processed by special plug-ins, which adds texture to it.
The 2021 documentary “Billie Eilish: The World Is a Little Blurry” revealed part of the then unreleased song: “When I’m away from you, I’m happier than ever, wish I could explain it better. Too bad it’s not true.” Eilish herself said that this is the most important song in her life. She helped her to understand not only what she wanted to say, but also to express it correctly.
Billy’s scream and O’Connell’s score marked a departure from past trends in music. And journalist Lindsey Zolads described the performance as the loudest in the history of Eilish.
“It was a therapy tape, because I just screamed with all my might and after the recording I could not speak. I wanted to release these screams for a long time and was extremely happy when I finished recording it.”
Meaning of “Happier Than Ever” – Billie Eilish
Billy herself commented on the song as a description of the fact that you are not happy to be with a person and cannot explain why. The song itself, like most of the tracks on the album, is about healing over time and growing up.
The singer tried to keep her personal life a secret, but the film “Billy Eilish: The World is a Little Blurry” revealed that the singer was in a relationship with rapper Brendan Addams, better known as 7:AMP. Fans believe that the main song of the album tells about this relationship.
Confirmation of this can be found in the part of the film where Billy reproaches the rapper for drunk driving. This is comparable to the line “I want you to be safe.” Many of the lines about Brandon spoken in the film resonate with the song. As a kind of acceptance and manifestation of self-love, the words “Do not say that this is unfair” sound. Indeed, in the film, the girl said: “I just wasn’t happy. And I didn’t want what he wanted. I don’t think that’s fair for him.” It shows elevation above oneself. Most likely, Brandon reproached the girl for being unfair when parting, and at the time of filming she was convinced of his words, but over time, the feeling of guilt receded and awareness came.
The song is filled with pain and the desire to get out of a difficult, unhealthy relationship. A kind of “goodbye kiss” for an ex-partner, in which she talks about things that hurt her. Being late for meetings, often drunk, misunderstanding and feeling useless due to broken promises. A soft start “when I’m away from you, I’m happier than ever” and a rough, powerful, screaming “just fucking leave me alone”. All this fully helps to understand the storm of negative emotions that the girl lived in these relationships and to see that she is growing above herself, understanding her own value for herself.
The album “Happines Than Ever” is completely filled with growing up, growing above oneself, healing and the title song of the same name conveys this as accurately as possible. She does not teach, does not show an example of how to get out of difficult situations. But he simply tells, tries to convey the emotional and mental heaviness of a person who is in an unhealthy relationship. It opens your eyes to what a person has to overcome in order to feel better, draw conclusions and grow. The song, due to its emotionality, will resonate with many people. In some circumstances, the song can play the role of a friend, as if sharing the burden of emotions with the listener.