Monday, 15 July 2019

Billie Eilish "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" (2019)

Here's a fact that makes me feel drowsy, Billie was born after 9/11... Let that sink in, what a reminder of how time gets past you... Her name has circulated past me plenty of times and after hearing she broke records for youngest performing artist at various festivals I had to check this one out. When We Fall Asleep is her debut album and the Teenager's hype presents itself swiftly but lasts after many spins. With a charmingly soft and subdued voice, this fusion of Pop and Electronic music stands apart with an Avant-garde edge in vocal experimentation that toys with distortion and more.

The norms are present, typically sensible and poppy melodies linger throughout. Warm and easy pianos drop in chords to chime with airy synth tones in easily digestible arrangements. Softly strummed guitars and easy percussion make for light listening too, its all good stuff. Each song has its temperament and the charm emerges mostly from these snappy crunchy beats, that bite into stereo spectrum, crisp and brittle. With sharp attacks and swift decays they carry quite the subtle persuasion, infusing a keener edge that sticks into her mostly approachable music.

Across the songs her voice shows quite the dynamism, often breaking from the breathy and softly sung words that malign most the instrumentals. Heavenly choral harmonization and quirky pitch shifting, many of the songs have a twist that ends up being a focal point of delight. Playing with echos, reverbs, stuttering delays and distortion its clear that a lot of experimentation takes place in her process. Whats wonderful is how it lands on the target. Never does a vocal quirk feel forced, its all very inspirational and fluid, emotional and riveting in authenticity.

Her songs seem to be able to take these abstractions and flesh them out into living entities that feel and express. This even extends the spectacle of including samples from the Micheal Scarn episode of TV show The Office. On one hand it seems unrelated to the lyrics but somehow fits in. There isn't a moment of this record I don't love. Its well fleshed out with exciting musical experimentation that flourishes, swaying between emotive surges and bursts of percussive force. On a couple of tracks her vocal style almost borders ASMR, a slight irritation but a possible influence on a young artist who undoubtedly knows of the phenomena. This has been a fantastic record and I can't wait to hear what she will do next!

Favorite Tracks: You Should See Me In A Crowd, When The Partys Over, I Love You, Goodbye
Rating: 8/10