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BILLIE EILISH Your Power gets 8/10


Billie Eilish

Your Power
Interscope / Darkroom

8/10

Your Power is the lead single from Billie Eilish’s upcoming second studio album Happier Than Ever which is set for release on July 30, 2021. The track marks a distinct change for Eilish, both in terms of sound and emotional content, and presents Eilish as more nuanced and mature for all that life has thrown her way since the release of her debut LP, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? back in 2019.

The track opens with gentle, melancholic guitars which are in stark contrast to the EDM-beats and keys of When We All Fall Asleep, allowing greater space for Eilish’s vocals to resonate as well as reflecting the deeper emotional content of the lyrics. Lyrically, Your Power shares much in common with country greats such as Emmylou Harris and Tammy Wynette, who also chose music as a vehicle to make sense of love, power and relationships.

While the opening line “try not to abuse your power” is a warning, Eilish’s choice of the words “try not” rather than “don’t” indicates an understanding of how difficult negotiating power in a relationship can be. Likewise, it heralds the mood of the track as Eilish details the power imbalance inherent in an adult male’s relationship with a schoolgirl (“And you swear you didn’t know/ No wonder why you didn’t ask/ She was sleepin’ in your clothes/ But now she’s got to get to class”). By keeping her tone calm and reflective, the pre-chorus “How dare you?/ And how could you?/ Will you only feel bad when they find out?” are even more impactful and saddening than if they had been delivered in anger.

While the track can be seen as descriptive of Billie’s relationship with ex-boyfriend Brandon Adams that began while she was still at school, Eilish’s tone on the track is less personal and more universal. Rather than use the track as a catharsis to free herself of the anger she feels, Eilish is aware of the topical nature of her experience as well as her responsibility as a role model and therefore, is looking not to chastise, but rather, share her story and reclaim her power.

MICHAEL HOLLICK

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