The Issue With Billie Eilish’s Darkness

17-year-old dark pop singer Billie Eilish released her debut full length album this month WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? It’s broken streaming records and received praise from artists like Demi Lovato, Niall Horan, and Dave Grohl.

But when she released “bury a friend,” and then her full album, I realized that she goes into a depth of darkness that’s not only treacherous, but unreachable.

A few weeks ago I tweeted:

& this

You’re not Jordan Peele. You’re a recording artist.

How much of a responsibility do artists have in shaping the lives of their listeners?

I think about the music I was listening to as a teenager. I’ll never forget the first time I heard this lyric from “9 crimes” by Damien Rice:

Think about Billie Eilish in 2019. It’s not even that she’s writing about really dark and twisted things — she’s allowing her young audience to go to this dark place with her and feel okay about staying there.

But listening to someone like Billie Eilish would’ve been different.

I would not feel comforted, uplifted, or reached. I would feel pushed further and forcibly into my own darkness.

Maybe I don’t get it. Maybe I’m officially getting old.

All this is to say, I think she’s talented. I think she’s sonically innovative. But at what cost?

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Monica Moser is an Austin-based singer/songwriter, podcaster, & freelance writer working in digital marketing in the music industry. TW/IG: @monicamoser

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Monica Moser

Monica Moser is an Austin-based singer/songwriter, podcaster, & freelance writer working in digital marketing in the music industry. TW/IG: @monicamoser