Billie Eilish Releases Two Surprise Songs, Says She Wants to Release Album Next Year
By Zoe Phillips
Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images for Live Nation UK
Billie Eilish officially released two surprise songs on Thursday, the previously heard "TV" that she performed live on tour last month, and a brand new tune, "The 30th." Both releases come from Eilish's new two-track EP, Guitar Songs, which is now available across all digital streaming platforms.
"Finneas and I really wanted these to be yours as soon as possible," Eilish said in a statement. "So here they are!"
Fans first heard "TV" as an unreleased track performed at the Manchester stop of Eilish's Happier Than Ever tour on June 7. The soft, reflective track builds in sound and volume before culminating with recorded vocals from Eilish's audience -- a 21,000 capacity venue -- the night she debuted the song.
It also marked the first time she performed a song prior to its release in over four years, an act of courage she says was inspired by Harry Styles' Coachella performance in April.
"It's really vulnerable to play a song that is not out that is vulnerable to you," she told Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe this week. Styles performed his unreleased track, "Boyfriend," while headlining the music festival. “I was just like, ‘Oh, wow. That’s really amazing that he’s doing that.’ I miss that," Eilish said.
The Manchester performance garnered attention for Eilish's powerful fragility in lyrics and vocals, along with its callout of the U.S. Supreme Court. "The internet's gone wild watching movie stars on trial / While they're overturning Roe v. Wade," she sings.
"We wrote that line a few weeks before it was officially overturned," Eilish said of the ruling, ostensibly referring to the drafted decision that was leaked a few weeks before SCOTUS officially reversed their Roe v. Wade decision. "It was a placeholder of doom."
"The 30th" offers a similar vibe of timely doom, with acoustic guitar and contemplative lyrics surrounding a car accident. "What if it happened to you on a different day?/ On a bridge where there wasn't a rail in the way?” she sings.
"Something happened on Nov. 30 and it had just been the most indescribable thing to have to witness and experience," Eilish told Lowe. It was the first song she wrote after releasing her mega-hit, "Happier Than Ever," last year.
With both songs now streaming, Eilish told Lowe she hopes to complete an album next year, but fans should temper their excitement -- "TV" and "The 30th" are all she has right now, and she's currently focused on the creation process rather than the end result. For Guitar Songs, Eilish and her brother, Finneas, returned to their musical roots, based more in creative spontaneity than a production and release schedule dictated by recording labels.
"Especially when you get bigger, every drop is this big deal of you got to send it in five months before you want it to come out because you have to get finals ready and you have to set a date and you have to shoot the video and you have to do the press for it and you have to do a shoot for it and you have to do a promo for it and you have to get the artwork and you have to do this and that and this and that," she said. "It's been so long since I've had music that we make and then it's out."
"That's our roots," she continued. "That's how Finneas and I started writing music, is on an instrument with just us. I wanted to go back and do it how we used to do it."