Billie Eilish's Happier Than Ever - What You Need To Know
One of the year's most-anticipated LPs, in any genre, arrives this week. Billie Eilish's second full-length effort Happier Than Ever hits shelves and here is everything you need to know about it...
A little background...
From the moment she began uploading her songs to Soundcloud as a 13-year-old, it feels like a lot has always been written about Billie Eilish. But, in spite of that, the runaway success of her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? has seemed to take everybody by surprise. Her cold, detached, arresting take on pop music had critical acclaim and respectable sales written all over it, rather than moving over six million units and world arena tours, which is what ultimately came to pass.
Such success has earned Eilish the chance to do things her way, which is why this album has been recorded in her brother Finneas's basement recording studio at his Los Feliz residence in Los Angeles, rather than under the guidance of older, more-experienced hitmakers.
Her influences have expanded and phrases like "timeless" have been used when describing her new material. Now it's time for the world to hear it.
Who's producing it?
As on her debut LP, Eilish's brother Finneas O'Connell has produced the album. Since his success with his sister, O'Connell has been in demand and has worked with the likes of Camila Cabello, Tove Lo, Halsey and Justin Bieber over the past year.
Any special guests?
None. Just like on When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, it's just Eilish and her brother.
What does it sound like?
Eilish has talked up classic jazz, and, in particular, Julie London, Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra in her key influences for the new album, and her brother's production has been tapered and stripped back somewhat. But this isn't a backwards-looking record filled with references to Dames and Speak-Easies, it flits comfortably between genres, from the Lana Del Rey esque ballad of 'Your Power' to the dry, Frank Ocean style groove of 'Lost Cause'.
Without Eilish losing her spark or desire for experimentation, this is an album that does feel more grown-up and more refined.
Does it deliver?
At just over 56 minutes and 16 tracks, there's an awful lot to get your teeth into here. But, refreshingly, for an artist who has enjoyed such huge hit singles, Eilish seems utterly committed to the album format. This collection is a real journey, it's an expansion and an exciting hint at the next steps for an artist who keeps delivering surprise left turns.