Every song on Billie Eilish’s debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? entered the Billboard Hot 100 this year (excluding the prelude), and since its release, the 17-year-old has garnered six Grammy nominations, made an appearance on Saturday Night Live, and locked down plans for an arena world tour in 2020. These commercial achievements, paired with an uncompromising vision, help explain why Eilish was officially named Billboard’s Woman of the Year for 2019.
There’s a pretty good chance you know who Eilish is — and which of the songs from her debut record, produced and co-written by her brother Finneas O’Connell, turned heads this year (hint: one of those songs defined the decade). But do you know every gem she was releasing before exploding into the mainstream?
If you are a Billie superfan, then there are a couple of deep cuts you probably know — and while her discography isn’t that huge just yet, there are lots of top-notch tracks from her debut EP, as well as collaborations that you may not be aware of. Whether you’re attempting to affirm your stanning skills or looking to jump on the Eilish wagon, here are the songs that every true fan should know.
“Copycat” was the ground-shaking opener on Eilish’s 2017 debut EP Don’t Smile At Me; whether or not she knew it at the time, she was predicting the future with lyrics like “Copycat trying to cop my glamour / Why so sad, bunny, you can’t have mine?.” Who knew that in just a year or two, so many people would be trying to replicate her? She’s been driving in her own lane since day one, and she has the distinct, buzzing bass to prove it.
2. “Party Favor”
Another track off her breakthrough EP which can be easily overlooked when standing next to early hits “Bellyache” and “Ocean Eyes.” “Party Favor” is a particularly quirky, folk-adjacent track, but it still has a whole lot of that Eilish persona (she even plays the ukelele!).
3. “When I Was Older”
This was a one-off track that was made for Music Inspired by the Film Roma, after director Alfonso Cuaron asked her to contribute. She and Finneas were specifically drawn to the line, “When I was older I used to be a sailor, but I drowned in a storm,” spoken by Pepe (Marco Graf). Footage from the film can even be heard in the song, like the trees burning outside of the house in the woods and ocean waves.
4. “Lovely” (With Khalid)
Eilish teamed up with Khalid, another recent pop breakthrough now playing arenas, to create a track for the second season of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why. The two wrote the song along with Finneas, who also produced the song.
5. “Come Out and Play”
Apple approached Eilish and Finneas to create a song for their commercial dubbed “Holiday — Share Your Gifts” late last year. The two wrote the song around the concept for the ad, and they certainly hit the nail on the head with the festive lyrics and sounds.
6. “Bitches Broken Hearts”
“Bitches Broken Hearts” is another fan favorite that could have been easily overlooked; while it didn’t make the cut on the Don’t Smile At Me EP, it was later included on the extended version. It’s subdued like a lot of the siblings’ work but has a tropical flare, which makes it a great Eilish cut for those looking for something a bit more relaxing.
7. “&Burn” (with Vince Staples)
We know “Watch” from her EP, but did you know the alternate version that features Vince Staples and goes by the title “&Burn”? When the siblings were initially recording the song, they called it “Watch & Burn” and essentially made two different tracks. The lesser known version, according to Eilish, felt like the “perfect” vibe for the North Long Beach rapper.
8. “Six Feet Under”
Before her EP came a handful of standalone singles including 2016’s “Six Feet Under”; it was just the second song she uploaded to SoundCloud, and it also came with a smokey, DIY video which was directed by Eilish and edited by her mother, Maggie Baird.
“Lovely” wasn’t the first time Eilish contributed to the 13 Reasons Why franchise. Back in March 2017, she released “Bored” which made it onto the soundtrack for the drama series’ first season.
10. “She’s Broken” (unreleased)
Real fans will know this deep cut, which Eilish uploaded to SoundCloud back in 2015. She was only 13 at the time and her voice sounds different, but her songwriting style was distinct even then.