When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

"Billie Eilish"

Apr 29, 2019

Billie Eilish, The 17-Year-Old Phenom, Releases Her Soul Rupturing Debut Album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Written by @missikonic from The Ikonic Music Blog / 7 mins read

The highly anticipated debut album from the viral-pop sensation marvels in the worlds of lyrical depth and personal narrative amid a Goth infused, deep-toned experimental vibe – At 17 years of age I was watching Sister Sister and swooning over my first boyfriend but not Billie Eilish. The young gem has over 15 million followers on Instagram and has sat on the couch of Ellen DeGeneres. As if 17 years old isn’t young enough, her true claim to fame came at age 14 with her obnoxiously successful single “Ocean Eyes” which has amassed over 16 million listens on Soundcloud and over 87 million streams on Spotify. Like fine wine Eilish only gets better over time proving to give herself quite the arduous task of sounding better than what others already have deemed great – The Los Angeles native teenager cultivates music that brims with lyrical complexities, depth, visual anomalies and a knack for penned open explication. Her written ambiguity allows listeners to adopt whatever interpretation they choose. When most artists release their first body of work it hearkens like the beginning of something beautiful but it’s swelling with flaws and room for improvement. Somehow, this barley legal adult has released a debut album that simmers like perfection – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is laced with 13 full tracks each sonically diverse from its previous. Albums that overflow with flavor and topic shifting make for a robust body of work. Eilish leaves listeners with a full stomach after ingesting this project.

A Teenager With A Soul As Deep As The Pacific

The album kicks off with a hilarious intro “!!!!!!!” which merely states, “I have taken out my Invisalign and this is the album.” Thereafter the project glides into its first record “bad guy” a bouncy, metaphor doused tune that sifts from low tone production to a head-bobbing climax partnered with a peculiar visual, and it’s the perfect kickoff to a legendary album. A bold statement that Eilish doesn’t mind playing the bad guy in a situationship and doesn’t mind being submissive either – The next candidly titled record “xanny” details Eilish’s distaste for drug use. She sings, “Don’t give me a xanny, now or ever.” Drug addicts tend to fall apart, piece by piece until they are rehabilitated. Eilish lyrically reveals a narrative of the effects of drug use from laziness to mental loss, an intrepid and necessary tune for the modern times that bathe in over-indulgence and brag about it later – The next record and fan favorite “you should see me in a crown” boasts with confidence and mind-rocking production. This eerie, abundant lyric filled record doused in climaxing thumping bass would make any musician begrudged at its genius. Furthermore, to add salt to the wound - if you’re hating - the visual displays a fearless Eilish with a couple spider friends in daring places. To put your soul on a record requires another level of aptitude yet somehow she does so swimmingly – Next up, “all the good girls go to hell,” a must listen. If the title wasn’t enough to reel you in, the bouncy, lyric laden record will hold your attention. Eilish sings, “All the good girls go to hell, ‘Cause even God herself has enemies.” This record is one of her more lyrically complex tunes, it can be interpreted in a myriad of ways from intense self-evaluation to the questioning of God’s gender. The sound is jovial, however, the content is dark but aware. At such a young age she is the definition of “woke.”

What A Title, Wait For The Meaning

The meaning of the record appears obvious but it’s deeper than what lies on the proverbial surface. Pain, a frequently penned musical topic, is conveyed in a unique way in this record. She states, “I wrote this song about a guy that really was not interested in me and it made me feel horrible, so the song is called “wish you were gay.” – Rejection feels a tab better with probable cause but the harrowing reality still lurks in your subconscious and future relational endeavors. Eilish confirmed that the man in question did eventually come out as gay, did it soothe her aching heart or just answer “yes” to a question where she yearned for the answer to be “no?” – Her next record, “when the party’s over” drips in beautiful baritone vocals from Eilish and she partners the records intensity with another dynamic visual. The evocative and haunting video opens with a cocaine-whited-out, chained dripping Eilish and a glass of dark liquid that she consumes as if it’s a glass of water. This intrepid juxtaposition of the white almost angel like scenery and the devouring black makes for quite the aesthetic symmetry. Her atramentous tears amidst her unraveling performance makes this visual award worthy. How will you interpret this record? Will you feel pain, longing, separation, bewilderment or maybe joy, the choice is yours.

Billie Eilish Wears Her Heart Inside Out For This Album

If you like your music drenched in abstract verses and wicked production with labyrinthine visuals she’s got you covered. Moving along, the 8th record is fittingly titled “8” which starts out with a vocally filtered-child-like Eilish crooning about the pain of heartbreak, lack of feeling and disappointment amid dreamy, strikingly dated production. The beauty of this album lies in its versatility, no two records sound the same. Each tune takes you on a different sonic ride from up-beat production to lofi vibes; she covers many genre bases yet rest comfortably in no particular genre at all. Her next track, “my strange addiction,” a cool quirky record that sifts in between vocals from Eilish and dialogue from the Office. It features lines from the Office season seven episode 'Threat Level Midnight’ and she played the sitcom’s perky theme song before each show on her first headlining tour – “bury a friend” is a dark twisted fantasy from the teenage star juxtaposed with evocative, thumping production. This record finally references the album title as she sings, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” Like many of her records this record can be interpreted in various ways from self-loathing to self-fear, a must listen – This next aural vibe presents a cute, childhood backstory. For the record “ilomilo” Eilish reflects, "I used to play ilomilo a lot. I loved ilomilo, that was like my favorite game in the world. It's this game where it's these two little creatures – one is named ilo and the other's named milo. It's this sort of anti-gravity world where there's all these little blocks and they start apart from each other. The idea is you just get to each other and when they get to each other they just hug, there's no prize." This is a metaphoric single about a fear of separation. The three final tunes “listen before i go,” “i love you,” and “goodbye” wind down the album with stunning piano led ballads, pensive lyricism and euphoric like vocals from Eilish – In essence, this album is a melting pot of emotion and genre shifting but a vital contribution to music one that brims with experimental additives, substance-filled bars and quality execution making it a listening experience like none other.