It has become unusual to have a two-track EP release by a mainstream artiste but then, Billie Eilish’s rise to fame has had an unconventional trajectory. The 20-year-old has two new songs on the EP titled Guitar Songs — The 30th and TV.
Eilish and her brother-collaborator Finneas had discussed making new music but somehow couldn’t get around to it, since their tour schedules take up most of the time. Ultimately, they ended up writing the first verse and the chorus to the song TV. “We wrote the first verse a couple months ago, many months ago now, and it was just the first verse. I play it, and Laura (Ramsay; her personal assistant) literally is sitting there. (I’m like), ‘But it’s fictional. It’s just fictional. It’s not anything real. Don’t worry about it.’ Then a couple months went by, and things changed, and then we wrote the rest of the song,” Eilish recently told Zane Lowe, the man who is the heart and soul of Apple Music 1, a 24x7 radio station that presents the latest via Apple Music.
Ultimately, the song ended up referencing the US Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe V. Wade, in which the Court had ruled in 1973 that the US constitution conferred the right to have an abortion. Eilish sings: The Internet’s gone wild watching movie stars on trial/ While they’re overturning Roe v. Wade.
“We wrote that line a few weeks before it was officially overturned. It was a placeholder of doom. It was the day of Glastonbury that it happened. We were at this house, and I was sitting with the dogs on the grass. My mom came out, and she just stood there, and she went, ‘They overturned it.’ We all were just like... God, it was like a curtain of doom. There was almost no even reaction. We wrote that line when the news got out about the fact that they’re considering overturning it, and we wrote that line then. It’s a scary world right now,” she told Apple Music 1.
As for the song The 30th, Eilish had worked on it on December 30 last year. It was the first song that she and Finneas wrote since Happier Than Ever. “It’s called The 30th because something happened on November 30 and it had just been the most indescribable thing to have to witness and experience. I had been writing down all these thoughts that I was having. I was with Finneas, and I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t know what you were planning on doing, but we need to write this song about this right now.’”
But having an EP out doesn’t mean a full-length album is on the way. “We don’t have any other songs. These songs are really current for me, and they’re songs that I want to have right now. I was talking to Finneas: ‘You know what, man? I don’t want to wait until the next album cycle to put these songs on an album and then it was like, ‘Wow, we have these two guitar songs.’”
Getting the Los Angeles girl into the studio is a tough ask because she “doesn’t like studios” and she “doesn’t like sessions”. “I don’t like there’s a runner and he asks you what kind of food you want at so-and-so time and he asks you if you want a LaCroix (sparkling water). I don’t like the vibe of studios. There are no windows. It smells like weed. There are other artistes there. You bump into them, you look stupid, and then you’re embarrassed that they saw you when you looked stupid. It freaks me out. It truly gives me social anxiety to be in a studio,” says the Bad Guy singer.
And then there is creative argle-bargle between her and Finneas. “The dude doesn’t get a break for himself. He doesn’t need it. For me, I go through phases of feeling really creative and actually getting stuff done and then going through phases of absolutely nothing at all, musically. The creativity works in other ways, but musically, the guy can write so fast and so well and so often and constant. I feel like I’m a better performer than a writer. I feel like maybe singing is more my... I don’t know.” And so goes any sister-brother conversation.