Don’t Smile At Me EP
Reviewed by: Lauren Rosier
When Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter, Billie Eilish, was thirteen, her brother, Finneas, wrote a song (“Ocean Eyes”) and took it to Eilish. The two recorded it and sent it to her dance instructor to pair choreography to it. The track was posted in 2016 to Soundcloud and quickly went viral, completely unexpected to Eilish.
The now fifteen-year-old Eilish returns with her new 7-song EP, Don’t Smile At Me, featuring some of the songs that helped to garner her increasingly more critical acclaim and excitement from fans.
The extended-play opens with the song, “Copycat”, a pop/hip-hop/R&B mashup about other individuals imitating another individual’s entire being. Eilish’s sultry vocals sing “perfect murder/take your aim/I don’t belong to anybody/but everybody knows my name”.
On “I Don’t Wanna Be You Anymore” and “My Boy”, Eilish switch gears into sultry pop/R&B. On “I Don’t Wanna Be You Anymore”, she sings about herself on herself, “hands getting cold/losing feeling’s getting old/was I made from a broken mold/hurt, I can’t shake/we’ve made every mistake/only you know the way I break” where on “My Boy”, she delivers a solid track that combines elements of jazz, R&B, and pop into a song about a failed relationship in which her significant other is lying to her (“my boy loves his friends/just like I love my split ends/and by that I mean/he cuts ‘me off”).
The songstress continues with her dark pop lyrical masterpieces on “Watch” where she sings confused about unrequited love (“I’ll sit and watch your car burn/with the fire that you started in me/but you never came to ask it back out/go ahead and watch my heart burn/with the fire that you started in me/but I’ll never let you back to put it out”).
One of the first tracks released by Eilish includes a darkly lit pop song, “Bellyache”, from the perspective of a murderer. The song begins how you’d expect a song to start by 15-year-old (“sittin’ all alone/with a mouth full of gum/in the driveway”), but then changes into a dark transformation (“my friends aren’t far/in the back of my car/lay their bodies”).
Though, the comparisons to dark pop songstresses, Lorde, and The Voice-alum, Melanie Martinez, are inevitable; Eilish’s artistic diversity and extraordinary songwriting allow her to stand confidently on her own.
Her confident, take-no-crap attitude displays in “Party Favor”, where she sings to a boy “books don’t make sense if you read them backwards/you’ll single out the wrong words/like you mishear all my songs.”
Billie Eilish is a breathe of fresh air when it comes to artistic diversity and exquisite songwriting. At only 15-years-old, Eilish already has the foundation (as displayed on Don’t Smile At Me) to create a long lasting music career. With such an ambitious and artistic creative vision with Don’t Smile At Me, the possibilities for her future creative works are endless.