Billie Eilish is only 19 years old, but she’s already at the point in her career where she has a decently sized library of older, recognizable songs that other artists enjoy putting their own spin on. “Ocean Eyes” is the most iconic track of her pre-When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? library, and now Shamir has offered a cover of it.
Shamir teased the recording earlier this month, writing in a now-unavailable Instagram post, “Have you ever said to yourself ‘I love ‘Ocean Eyes’ by @billieeilish but I wish it was a haunted emo shoegaze rock song’? Well come 2/23 I got you!” Indeed, the song is as he described it, as it takes on a darker, more in-your-face tone, and Shamir’s idiosyncratic vocals suit the track perfectly.
Shamir invoked Eilish in a recent interview while yearning for more of an alternative influence on pop music, saying, “Pop music doesn’t need to be electronic-based. We’ve been sold that a lot these days. When people think of the biggest alt artist right now, people think of Billie Eilish and it’s like, come on! There’s a lot of great pop songs on the records I released post-Ratchet. But the recording and production was self-produced by me — out of complete necessity. I couldn’t get anyone to really work with me. Kyle [Pulley], who produced most of [the Shamir] tracks with me, was the first producer ever, my entire career, to reach out to me.”
Check out Shamir’s “Ocean Eyes” cover above and compare it with Eilish’s original below.