Billie Eilish - "bury a friend"

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bury a friend [Review] - Billie Eilish

written by thehatsmol
Artist: Billie Eilish

Song: "bury a friend"

Listen:
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Music Video:

Background:
Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O'Connell, professionally known as Billie Eilish, is an American singer-songwriter. She first saw her peak in popularity back in 2016 with her single "Ocean Eyes". Since then, she has accumulated over 194 million Spotify and has had multiple songs hit the Billboard charts.

Eilish first started music by performing covers for her hometown with her brother, Finneas O'Connell (better known as FINNEAS). She later released some of her first songs in 2016 such as "Six Feet Under" & "Ocean Eyes" on SoundCloud. Months later, she would drop her debut project, "don't smile at me", with a feature from Vince Staples. Her debut album, "WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?", is slated to release in March.

"bury a friend" was first teased by Eilish on her YouTube channel with a video snippet titled "hahahaha". The snippet features a slightly different intro and a more "behind-the-scenes" look at the music video. She then revealed that the track would come out January 30th and be the first single from her debut album.

Review:
During my first listen of this track, I thought of horror. It was a thrill ride through a horror movie, there's no other way to describe it. She describes it herself as a song that was "written from the perspective of a monster under my bed". It's like a storytelling track, which resembles another one of her tracks "you should see me in a crown" (despite the comparison, the two are extremely different.) Now after I've gotten that out the way, now for a review of the track.

Straight off the bat, we are greeted with an eerie instrumental, followed by a dark, British voice that simply says"Billie". In the video, we see the voice (now identified as London rapper
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) laying down in his bed, waking up to say her name, most likely because Billie is haunting him in his sleep (which alludes to the point of her being the monster under the bed). After that slight intro, we are abruptly cut to a bass-filled instrumental which then leads to some sinister vocals from Billie. Her chorus is scary enough, with her asking:

"What do you want from me? Why don't you run from me?
What are you wondering? What do you know?
Why aren't you scared of me? Why do you care for me?
When we all fall asleep, where do we go?"


What do you want from her? Why don't you run from her? All questions of a tortured, hurt soul as well as a monster. As mentioned before, Billie wrote this as a monster. She was trying to explore what a monster would and how they would feel. In a sense, those lyrics reflect that point. She ends off this portion with a lyric that resembles the title of her new album, "when we all fall asleep, where do we go?"

Afterwards, we are met with another line by Crooks, "Come here". We then cut again to the bass-filled beat where Billie starts here first verse and continues to ask questions. The verse seems to stray away from the topic of horror, but still keeps the same tone. It seems that she is asking her lover is she good enough for him. She also seems to be bragging about draining him financially and energetically. She ends her first verse with a comparison of how she's "draining you down" like she wants to drown because she just wants to end her.

The first verse is followed by a quick refrain. This explains the gruesome details of Billie's monster persona, and how she is about to bury her friend but some what's regrets her decision, stating that she's trying to wake up from the nightmare replaying in her head. This goes on until the pre-chorus, which Billie simply sings "I wanna end me." The pre-chorus is extremely horror-like. While she is singing her lines, the instrumental just builds tension with it's dark, low-key bassline and the disturbing
noises that are usually put in movies such as the Conjuring and Poltergeist right before a jumpscare.

The second verse is continues on the same path as the first, with another line from Crooks, while incorporating the monster theme a bit more. The verse could be interpreted in two ways: her still threatening her lover or trying to paint her label as a monster. In my opinion, I think she may be unhappy with her label and the way they are changing her (this could just be for the song and she is just writing it to enhance the experience.) This seems a bit clear in the following lines:

"Keep you in the dark, what had you expected?
Me to make you my art and make you a star
And get you connected?
I'll meet you in the park, I'll be calm and collected
But we knew right from the start that you'd fall apart"


The second bar is what really makes me believe this. She was fooled that the label would make her a star and get her connected (possibly with bigger artist, people, businesses, etc.) She was left in the dark because the label didn't tell her anything. They knew right from the start that she'd fall apart. She has expressed these feelings before in an interview with Vanity Fair, saying that celebrities and artist are sad people, her included. She seemed somewhat sadder than before in the interview as well. But then again, this could be a message to her lover. Later in the verse, she claims that she is too expensive for her lover to maintain.

We are meet with a quick bridge before the final chorus. It seems to go along with the theme of Billie being manipulated and controlled by the label again, saying she has to sell her soul for the debt she owes, and how she isn't in control anymore. This could also mean she is literally her own monster and her uncontrollable side is taking over, which is plausable since she has always said that she is her own worst enemy.

After the bridge, we have another refrain, pre-chorus and chorus, but what really catches my eye this time is the pre-chorus. Despite being heard before, a new aspect is added and that's the screechy violin sounds, as well as the silence between every line. It's was a nice touch to nearly ends of the track. As the track fades away we hear these drum noises increasingly getting louder until it comes to halt. It doesn't really have any significance right now, it may during the album, but one thing I noticed about it is if you play the track on repeat, the drums make the track sound as if it never ends.

Memorable Moments:
  • The entire music video is memorable and it deserves to be awarded. It's very unique.
  • The little "Ah" 's during the refrains, it's a perfect touch.
  • The beat is magnificent as always.
  • Billie's ability to move out of her comfort zone so smoothly, she is truly talented.
Final Thoughts:
I only have one word to describe this song: Creative. It's moody, gritty track that's get's your blood pumping. The music video reflects that feel as well. The video adds on to the track, with her being treated like a monster and being experimented on. The topic and premise of this track is good, but if it's going to be for a whole album, that's ridiculous. We want music to listen to, not a twisted fairy tale. I could be wrong though. Maybe she's going to execute it well. Looking at the tracklist, it seems like not everything will be a long nightmare. One thing is for sure, this new album could end in one of two way, an entire flop or a masterpiece, and I really hope it's the ladder.
 

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