‘everything i wanted’ shows new side of Billie Eilish

Singer gets personal with new single

billie-eilish-at-pukkelpop-festival-18-august-2019-01

Billie Eilish performed at Pukklepop Music Festival in Belgium in August.

Courtesy Lars Crommelinck Photography

Shortly after the release of her critically acclaimed debut album “When We All Fall Asleep, Where do We Go?”, Billie Eilish has returned to the music scene with a new single — “everything i wanted.” The song is an ode to the relationship she has with her brother, Finneas O’Connell, who also doubles as both her co-writer and producer. While Eilish returns to familiar lyrical themes in the song, sonically it is a departure from the trap influences on her first album. 

“everything i wanted” finds Eilish at her most subdued, production-wise. The song begins with haunting, dark piano chords and eventually builds to incorporate a soft beatbox percussion in the background. There are no surprise beat drops or changes with this single, like with her summer smash “bad guy.” Amongst her discography, the song stands out as somewhat understated, but for such a personal subject matter, this works in favor of the track. 

In an interview with Annie Mac she said of the song, “We [Billie and Finneas O’Connell] started writing it because I literally had a dream that I killed myself and nobody cared and all of my best friends and people that I worked with basically came out in public and said, like, ‘Oh, we never liked her.’ In the dream, the fans didn’t care. The internet shit on me for killing myself, all this stuff, and it really did mess me up." 

This is not the first time the songstress has written about dreams and suicide. Another track from her debut album, “listen before i go,” finds her telling her lover to do exactly that. Despite having written tracks on this topic before, “everything i wanted” feels significantly more intimate.  With lyrics like, “If I could change the way that you see yourself / You wouldn't wonder why you're here, they don't deserve you" and “But I don't wanna let anybody know / 'Cause everybody wants something from me now / And I don't wanna let 'em down,” Eilish touches on both the effects of fame and the significant relationship she has with her brother. Eilish is getting personal with her fans. 

The subtle vocals Eilish contributes to the song pair perfectly with its sparse production. In the outro of the song, she sings “If they knew what they said would go straight to my head / What would they say instead?” in a low, creaky drawl. Her stylistic choice of eerie, soft singing is fitting for such an emotional and melancholic song. However, the true highlight of the song is the background vocals. The chilling background vocals are almost whispered, yet manage to feel choral-like, making the sparse track sound full. 

“everything i wanted” is Eilish at her most intimate. The bare-bones production and haunting vocals only serve to highlight the personal nature of the song. The singer-songwriter is giving fans something new and revealing — and that’s all one could want in an Eilish track.  

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