EP REVIEW: Billie Eilish – Don’t Smile At Me
Billie Eilish is the newcomer that is ready to change the game. She isn’t your typical pop star and she’s okay with that. Actually she so okay with it that she plays on it. The fifteen year old has a maturity beyond her years that I can’t even fathom and her debut EP “Don’t Smile At Me” showcases that in its most raw and intimate vulnerability. The whole record is made up of alternative pop tracks that say exactly what you want to say about ex-lovers in a way that you weren’t even sure how to express it. Opening track “Copycat” introduces the unique sound with a gritty production of synths and beats that are so abstract that they sound minimalistic. I don’t know if that really makes sense but once you listen I think you will understand what I mean. Her dreamy vocals offers an interesting contrast to this dark sound and will have you instantly intrigued. “Idontwannabeyouanymore” is the self criticism ballad where she opens up about her insecurities about how she looks and acts. She confrontingly looks in the mirror as says “I don’t wanna be you anymore” and it’s so morbid but so honest that you find yourself remember a time you said that to yourself. “My Boy” injects a little bit of doo-woop goodness into the gritty production for an epic song that will see you quoting the brutally honest lyrics. “My boy’s an ugly crier but he’s such a pretty liar and by that I mean he said he’d change”. She even goes to the next extreme and says “Alright dude, go trip over a knife” which lets be honest, we’ve all wanted to say that to an ex before. “Watch’ is my favourite song on this EP and for good reason. Beginning with just her dreamy vocals accompanied with a piano, it is a simple match stick that ignites a little drum beat and soothing synths the carries through the rest of the song. The lyrics are dark, reflective and honest. It’s about the pain that someone causes you and you grow from it and realise that you don’t need any closure from them to be okay. “Watch my heart burn with the fire that you started in me. But I’ll never let you back to put it out”. But then on “Party Favour” she re-introduces the doo-woop feel with this uekele lead track. It’s not as strong as its predecessors but the lyrical imagery saves it. “Bellyache” is one of the first songs we were introduced to from this songstress and it’s still as impacting and catchy as the first time we heard it. The minimalistic beat drop will undoubtedly solely have you pushing replay and then once you read the lyrics and realise the storyline you will become obsessed. It’s about a psychopath who commits a murder and is then left with their actions and having to find a way to cope. CRAZY. But amazing. But then “Ocean Eyes” offers a different contrast with a love song that is so simple and beautiful. Her vocals have you entranced and in awe. And then she closes the EP with “Hostage” which is another love song with incredible imagery. However it is a bit of an anti-climatic finish because you were half expecting a final abstract plot twist but instead got another stripped back track. But this EP is incredible. It’s original, honest and just that right amount of quirky. Her maturity is impressive, her vocals are impressive and the storytelling is immaculate. She is a newcomer you need to be aquatinted with because soon you are going to hear her name a lot more.