The Haunting Price of Fame - A Take on Billie Eilish's Latest Single ‘Bury A Friend’

Indie | Thursday 7th February 2019 | Ana

The sickly-sweet yet rebellious Billie Eilish has built an empire from the deeply relatable dilemma of being a teenager and the overwhelming doubt that follows us into young adulthood.

Now she's bringing the real winter chills with her haunting new single, 'Bury A Friend'.


This latest single offers a glimpse into her upcoming album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? Released on March 28.


The 17-year-old, well-known for her song’s feature in 13 Reasons Why, has come a long way from the twinkly ballads of her last EP, don’t smile at me.


From the menacing themes in the video to her echoing voice, it is instantly clear that she is stirring away from her fragile Billie character towards a more sinister and sullen new persona, exploring herself and the uncertainties she faces as the artist best known for tearing up the rule book for what it means to be a pop-indie singer these days.


Similar to each single she releases, 'Bury A Friend' showcases her continuous evolution as a young artist through the unusually upbeat tempo veiled by layers of vocal effects adding to her dark yet ironic theme of fighting internal demons. Her alarming imagery in the video screams Marilyn Manson with a side of Ouija board vibes, brought to life with the talents of horror movie director, Michael Chaves.


'Bury A Friend' bellows haunting before the song even begins. Introduced by rapper Crooks after he is shaken by a nightmare, a galloping beat leads the camera down to Eilish’s eerily lit face and black eyes, her echoing yet soft voice opens the song up with “What do you want from me?”


Stumbling through an apartment building, dragged by sinister forces her character shifts between this and a more defeated girl, held down by gloved hands within clinic-like scenes. The screen flashes between these two alternatives illustrating Eilish’s complicated relationship with her fame, showcasing her feelings of feeling trapped and unable to connect because “it all falls apart” and she’s “too expensive”.


In the past, Eilish has been very vocal about the pitfalls of fame and her disinterest in following rules as portrayed within the scenes of  trying to break free from the gloved hands, reiterating the same phrase over and over again: “I wanna end me.”


As the video unveils it reveals progressively more demonic imagery of Eilish while somehow bringing us back to where we started. However, this time as the video finishes seeing the same poorly-lit bed scene doesn’t feel the same.


On the first glimpse, Eilish’s video can be interpreted as grim, however her real message becomes clearer and the innocence of her difficulty with fame is more prominent than it has been in her past songs. What the video reveals are the more complex internal battles she faces being an artist whilst ironically seeing herself as one of the demons she battles with.


This single is an intriguing opening to what could be her best album yet.

Listen and pre-order the album here.

Follow Billie Eilish on Instagram and Twitter for live updates of her upcoming tour.