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Why Billie Eilish hated making her debut album

No artist has taken over pop culture as resoundingly as Billie Eilish has in the past few years. Rising from underground teenage upstart to chart-topper almost in the blink of an eye, Eilish’s rapid rise has been stratospheric, to say the least. She is now lauded as one of the voices of her generation, ranked in a way that Madonna was for Generation X and how Lady Gaga is for millennials. 

Eilish’s music is so unique within the realm of pop that it holds up to most scrutiny. Produced alongside her brother Finneas, Eilish employs stark contrasts and haunted soundscapes that fuse bedroom pop with nightmarish parallel universes, perfectly fitting in with the current zeitgeist.

Her music would arguably have been marked as industrial – almost oppressive – if it was not imbued with such catchy inflexions. Together, Billie and Finneas have created a sound quite like no other, and one that is so multifaceted you never know where they are going to go next.

Following the artistic triumphs of her 2019 debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, Eilish and Finneas struck a much more mature, jazz-inspired note on the critically acclaimed follow-up, 2021’s Happier Than Ever.

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As well as releasing two of the most iconic opuses of the contemporary era, showing just how far she’s come, Eilish also sang one of the most refreshing James Bond themes in recent memory, indicating that at the green age of 20 the world really is her oyster. 

Whilst her career has been one of many successes, this is not to say that it’s been easy. Back in 2021, she reflected on the creation of her debut album, revealing that she “hated every second” of the process, with it being a steep learning curve. When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, was by all accounts a success but the creative process behind it is not something she looks back on fondly.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Eilish revealed that despite the album’s success, she didn’t enjoy writing it. “I hated every second of it,” she said. “I hated writing. I hated recording. I literally hated it. I would’ve done anything else. I remember thinking there’s no way I’m making another album after this. Absolutely not.”

She then turned her attention to the change that occurred between then and writing her second record. She explained: “No one has a say anymore. It’s literally me and Finneas and no one else.”

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