It seems that Billie Eilish wants to finish this hectic year with some calm, and her new single ‘everything i wanted’ is a soft, sad, melancholic musing on her feelings of fame.
The 17-year-old opens with the idea of having it all, having the dream life everyone wants, where she explains that it isn’t what we all believe it is. She seems scared to be as open and honest, but does it with the safety blanket that people might not even pay attention to what she says.
Through her ‘perfect’ life, she believes that anything is possible, even total happiness. However, the reality that it isn’t what everyone thinks it is is portrayed by her metaphor that she still can’t fly, leaving her to fall of the bridge. Her dream becomes a nightmare of her jumping off the San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, and when she dies, no one notices the fact that she is gone. The themes of dreams reflects on her album from earlier this year when we all fall asleep where do we go, and asks us to delve into the depths of our subconscious and reconsider what we want.
The song is an ode to her brother (and producer), dedicated to their siblings’ bond and his support. Finneas grounds her in her ‘dream life’, but also in her everyday reality. Despite all the material things she can have with her newly acquired fame, what she really wants and needs is him.
Finneas tells her that she matters, but she feels undeserving, not understanding what is happening to her. The notion of feeling stuck in her fame becomes a vision of claustrophobia – she can’t breathe. Eilish doesn’t want to let anyone down so she doesn’t stop and doesn’t show how she truly feels, as if she owes her fans the image they project onto her when they imagine this ‘dream’ life of fame and fortune.
She questions whether it’s all worth it, is making music is truly worth it the hardships she tries to mask everyday. Whether, if she knew what would be said and done to her, if she would still want to live this life. She ponders where those who feel like they have a right to comment on her appearance, music and personality knew how it would affect her and whether they would still say the same things.
This song looks like her way of getting all her feelings out, in a beautifully candid portrayal of her feelings. Though Finneas’ stylistic production is distinguishable in the background, the song sounds like a breath of fresh air, as much for Billie as for the listener. As usual, the bass punctuates the melody, but here it feels like we’re listening to the singe’s pulse – reminded she’s a real person not just an elusive star incapable of feeling. The quiet tone makes this single personal and intimate, the track providing a raw reflection on young fame in the modern age.
Sarah Ashford Brown