The Mic Awards 2019: Debut Album of the Year
Winner: Billie Eilish - ‘WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?’
Editor-in-chief Cameron Chadwick delves into The Mic’s Debut Album of the Year, a ‘future classic’ unwrapping quirks, nuances and insecurities the more it gets heard.
A ‘less is more’ sensation, Billie Eilish’s WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP… is more than just a breakthrough debut record, it’s a landmark work of pop music. Tormented trap instrumentation and ASMR-like vocals litter this insight into the mind of a teenage girl which expresses more maturity than the bulk of the pop mainstream, and brother Finneas’ minimalist approach to production allows the sonic diversity to be vivid and vibrant. all the good girls go to hell boasts a fresh West Coast groove topped off with a haunting minor key G-funk synth, my strange addiction marches through a series of hypnotically sticky melodies and wish you were gay blends in acoustic pop as Eilish laments ‘Baby I don’t feel so good/Six words you never understood’.
WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP’s quietest moments are its most compelling, however; i love you is a folky and intimate take on the dire circumstances of a relationship on the rocks, and album highlight listen before i go is an unsettlingly true to life depiction of the young persons’ suicide pandemic, the sound of police sirens only seconds away from Billie’s teetering position on the edge of life as she gasps ‘Call my friends and tell them that I love them and I’ll miss them/But I’m not sorry’.
No discussion of this future classic would be complete without a mention for the titanic smash bad guy. As the fourth biggest-selling song of the year in the US, the lead single deserves every bit of praise it gets, with the iconic groove of the ‘duh’ drop and that beat switch which holds up against your favourite rapper’s entire discography.
Clocking in at less than 45 minutes, Billie Eilish’s stacked debut album is a layered affair, which unwraps more of its quirks, nuances and insecurities with listen after listen. Sitting at the top of this year’s Billboard album chart while only at the beginning of her young music career, Billie Eilish is the greeter at the front of a haunted house, and we’re only in the hallway.