Billie Eilish ruled 2019 and, before the pandemic struck, it looked like 2020 was shaping up to be the year of Eilish again after kicking off the year with her sublime James Bond theme ‘No Time To Die’. ‘Everything I Wanted’, is one of the songs that made the music become obsessed with the young singer’s artistry and the freshness that she brought to pop music. That said, this version of the track, featuring Eilish’s vocals only, gives it an extra sense of eerieness.
Eilish and her brother Finneas began to write ‘Everything I Wanted’ back in 2018, a time when she was just 16 years of age. The was song originally created as a coping mechanism for her depression which, at the time, was uncontrollable. The genesis of the track is dark but shows the power of music and her ability to create art from even the hardest subjects. The song was influenced by a nightmare the singer endured one night in which she died by suicide after jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. In her nightmare, she witnessed her friends, work colleagues and fans ignore her demise. She later woke up with the feeling that despite achieving “everything I wanted”, she still feels disposable.
Eilish then turned to her brother and producer extraordinaire Finneas for comfort, a figure who told her she needs to “change the way that you see yourself” and “they don’t deserve you.” In an interview with The New York Times, Eilish said she “was in a really bad place mentally” while Finneas admitted he refused to write a song about hopelessness and told her she “can’t always solve [her] problems in a song”.
Eilish then persuaded him as well as their parents who were also concerned for her wellbeing by telling them writing ‘Everything I Wanted’ was “the way I can feel those things without doing something to myself”. However, as they began working on the song, the subject changed to one of mutual support and togetherness rather than it’s dark beginnings.
Talking about ‘Everything I Wanted’, Eilish said to Zane Lowe on Beats 1 that “it feels very satisfying. Very satisfying. And also the song has so many meanings. Every lyric in that song has a very specific meaning and specific instance that it was written about.”
She added: “I just want to sit down and write what every single line means just for myself, even if it’s never shared with anybody. But what satisfies me so much about this song is that it’s not me shitting on fame. It’s me talking about how sometimes everything you wanted…might not be exactly how you dreamed it because it is a dream.”
Eilish also spoke about how she recorded a line for the song underwater: ”I mean, we couldn’t not do that. Are you kidding? With that fucking line, it was like, you can’t not. We were sitting there like, “My head was underwater,” and we were like, “Wait, wait. This is our chance”.
Listen to her haunting isolated vocals on ‘Everything I Wanted’, below.