Pop

Every Billie Eilish Song, Ranked

Billie Eilish’s journey to pop music fame might have seemed sudden to some (“I thought her name was William Eyelash,” went the Dionne Warwick tweet), but in truth the Los Angeles genre-defying wunderkind has been on the come-up since she first began writing songs at age 11 alongside her older brother and producer Finneas O’Connell. With a curious knack for blending genres and, to borrow another quote from Warwick, “singing like it is Halloween,” Billie was arguably the first to mainstream the now-ubiquitous “genreless” Gen Z pop a few years before everyone became obsessed with talking about Gen Z. Since 2016, Billie’s immense popularity has helped lay the groundwork for the success of today’s alt-pop acolytes: Olivia Rodrigo, Girl In Red, Willow, and Clairo, just to name a few.

Initially, fans strongly connected with Billie’s soul-bearing, ethereal songs about anxiety and mental health, subjects she explored on the 2017 EP Don’t Smile At Me, and then on her debut LP, 2019’s Grammy-winning When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Later, on her recently released sophomore effort, Happier Than Ever, she unapologetically played with her look, morphing from a neon-green teen to buxom blonde bombshell, and attempted to process the myriad changes in her life, post-fame.

In honor of Billie reaching new stratospheric levels of pop stardom on Happier Than Ever, we present a ranked list of her songs, worst to best.

48. “!!!!!!!”

Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

The brief LOL-ing opener to Billie’s debut album perfectly sets the scene where she’s made all of her music up to this point: a tiny bedroom in Los Angeles, sitting beside her brother, who’s on production. Their relationship mirrors the success of so many other family acts: The Bee Gees, The Carpenters, HAIM, the Jackson 5. At this point, it’s safe to add Billie and Finneas to that list.

47. “Bored”

Album: 13 Reasons Why Season 1 Soundtrack

A relatively straightforward R&B cut provided for the 13 Reasons Why season 1 soundtrack, “Bored” doesn’t stand out quite as much as the majority of Billie’s work, even as a one-off. Still, it’s very pretty, and the lush chorus has a sighing quality. You have to admire Billie and Finneas’ adherence to a theme, even if it’s a little on-the-nose.

46. “&Burn”

Album: Don’t Smile At Me EP

If this sounds like a callback to another early Billie single, that’s for good reason: “&Burn,” featuring an assist from Vince Staples, originally shared a production womb with “Watch” until it split apart and became its own thing. The song, a thudding pop and hip-hop hybrid, is powerful by itself, but is brought to another level with Vince’s sharp verses.

45. “8”

Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Simply named for its track number on When We All Fall Asleep, this ukulele-led ballad captures most relationships’ inherent communication breakdown. While Billie is fighting to keep a partnership alive, making the strong point that “you said, ‘Don’t treat me badly,’” ultimately it’s no use. People change, and they also change their minds.

44. “Listen Before I Go”

Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

The twelfth track on When We All Fall Asleep is stripped down to piano and soft synths but still quite gripping, allowing Billie’s quavering vocals to lead the charge. It’s probably best appreciated over a pair of high-quality headphones, where you can really pinpoint Finneas’ minimalist production touches.

43. “Bellyache”

Album: Don’t Smile At Me EP

Though Billie’s early singles were known for their relative sparseness, “Bellyache” is a full-bodied standout, scattering a spectrum of sonic influences: hip-hop, R&B, deep house, electropop, and Latin macabre, among others. Thematically, its lyrics offer a peek into the physical and mental pain its author was capable of experiencing in childhood as a result of guilt. As such, Billie takes on the persona of a psychopath who kills both their friends and lover, then experiences deep remorse.

42. “Lo Vas a Olvidar” Featuring Rosalía

This mostly acapella single — a haunting venture between Billie and Rosalía — may not have needed to happen, but it’s impossible to think that a collaboration like this wouldn’t result in something beautiful. Billie sings mostly in Spanish, a language any international pop star should familiarize themselves with (it just seems practical).

41. “Halley’s Comet”

Album: Happier Than Ever

A gentle ballad featuring a music-box piano interlude, “Halley’s Comet” is one of the more minimal tracks in Billie’s catalog, but all the better to showcase her trilling vocals. The production might be simpler, but this song is as thematically rich as any, using a cosmic anomaly to articulate being pulled into love’s tractor beam.

40. “Billie Bossa Nova”

Album: Happier Than Ever

Billie noticeably expands her sonic approach on the gently strummed “Billie Bossa Nova,” which, like its title, leans into the Brazilian-born rhythm. Thematically, Billie and Finneas spin a yarn around a touring pop star who engages in a secret love affair. Whether or not it’s based on anything true doesn’t really matter — given Billie’s level of fame, finding time and energy for romance may always result in us[ing] different names at hotel check-ins.

39. “Copycat”

Album: Don’t Smile At Me EP

The eerie, ultra-catchy opener to Billie’s debut EP immediately sets the tone for what’s to come. Over a skittering, minimalist hip-hop beat, “Copycat,” described as “the precursor to ‘Bad Guy,'” showcases Billie’s impressive vocal range, layering harmonies together to create an ominous, chilling sensation that would go on to define the majority of her future work.

38. “Everybody Dies”

Album: Happier Than Ever

One of the classically jazzier singles on Happier Than Ever, this downtempo ballad contemplates the point of love, the way change is inevitable, and the frightening concept that after we go, those still living may not remember us. “It’s okay to cry,” Billie concludes. “You are not alone. You are not unknown.”

37. “Bitches Broken Hearts”

As the B-side to “You Should See Me In A Crown,” “Bitches Broken Hearts” is a sly R&B single bolstered by Billie’s silky vocals. Toeing the line between sensitive and aloof, Billie addresses a former love interest, asserting that she no longer needs or cares about them: “You can pretend you don’t miss me / You can pretend you don’t care / All you wanna do is kiss me / Oh, what a shame, I’m not there.”

36. “Come Out And Play”

Most of Billie’s early songs sound ready to soundtrack your nightmares, but “Come Out And Play” is the pleasant, sunny exception. It’s all sunny acoustic strums and empowering invitations to embrace what’s possible (“You don’t have to keep it quiet / And I know it makes you nervous / But I promise you, it’s worth it / To show ’em everything you kept inside/Don’t hide, don’t hide”).

35. “Getting Older”

Album: Happier Than Ever

When the bulk of your success comes at such an early age, it’s impossible not to feel older than your years before you even hit 20. Billie processes household name-level fame on her sophomore album’s opener, which astutely observes how “things I once enjoyed / just keep me employed now.” Billie might look and sound a little different here, but her hyper-honest point of view remains as articulate as ever.

34. “Goldwing”

Album: Happier Than Ever

The hymnal sixth cut from Happier Than Ever might open with a church choir sound, but it quickly evolves into something more complex. Over syncopated beats and the repeated “goldwing” echoing in the background, Billie rightly observes how fleeting fame can be: “They’re gonna’ tell you what you wanna hear, then they’re gonna disappear / Gonna’ claim you like a souvenir / Just to sell you in a year.”

33. “My Strange Addiction”

Album: When We All Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Billie’s absurdist sense of humor sneaks in here, with soundbites from The Office episode “Threat Level Midnight” sprinkled throughout this upbeat track. “No, Billy, I haven’t done that dance since my wife died,” Michael Scott’s voice opens to describe his made-up character’s trademark groove. “We literally just ripped the audio from Netflix and put it in the song, not at all thinking that they would say yes to it and we’d be able to put it out,” Billie told MTV News after the song dropped. “Also, it’s about strange addictions, and The Office is mine, so…” Fair enough!

32. “Hostage”

Album: Don’t Smile At Me EP

This stripped-down number, about wanting someone so badly you could picture possessing them, closes out Billie’s debut EP. Bolstered by Finneas’ backing vocal, “Hostage” is one of Billie’s more bare-bones tracks, but it’s got staying power, thanks to its delicate, slow-build production, plus self-aware lyrics that admit to going a little overboard (“it’s not like me to be so mean”). But who among us hasn’t wanted to “crawl inside your veins” when we’re that into someone?

31. “I Didn’t Change My Number”

Album: Happier Than Ever

Can people change? Well, they certainly evolve, especially when you’re young and one year feels like a decade. “I didn’t change my number / I only changed who I reply to” cleverly encapsulates the way a device — which are basically just extensions of our personalities now — stays static, but the person it reaches is always growing.

30. “Idontwannabeyouanymore”

Album: Don’t Smile At Me EP

Though her sophomore album has come to be more associated with Billie’s interest in jazz, this 2017 single offers an early-catalog dip into that particular influence. Opening with light piano and a vocal scat, the Amy Winehouse-esque “Idontwannabeyouanymore” is a peek into Billie’s psyche under a cloud of depression and an inspired example of her stylistic range.

29. “Ilomilo”

Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Fans might remember that this ska-influenced track is where Billie got the name for her documentary, The World’s A Little Blurry. Buried down into the B-sides on When We All Fall Asleep, “Ilomilo” is a creepy listen, relying on stuttering vocal manipulation and clinking keys. If Tim Burton wrote a pop song, this is probably what it would sound like.

28. “Goodbye”

Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

“I’m the bad guy,” are the last words we hear on the closing track to Billie’s debut, which brings us full circle, right back to the first song on the album. This kind of Easter egg is what makes Billie (and Finneas) true album artists, interested in creating a body of work in conversation with itself. It’s a lost art these days, in our ongoing era where singles and playlists take priority over the dusty album. But Billie’s a shining exception, able to engage in both worlds — and make it look easy.

27. “When I Was Older”

Album: Music Inspired By The Film Roma

Directly inspired by Alfonso Cuarón’s masterful 2018 film Roma, “When I Was Older” makes its stamp in the Eilish canon with a spooky lullaby melody and Eilish’s warped vocals. It may not sound remotely related to Cuarón’s story about a Mexican domestic worker in the 1970s, but “When I Was Older” creeps under your skin, regardless.

26. “Male Fantasy”

Album: Happier Than Ever

Closing out an expansive sophomore effort that brims with themes around growing up, coming to terms with fame, and the unwelcome blare of strangers’ opinions, “Male Fantasy” is a classically gorgeous ballad that reminds you (lest you forget) that Billie Eilish can sing. “Male Fantasy” is also a song about being kinder to yourself, about letting yourself take the necessary time to heal after a broken heart, no matter how badly you like to just move on already.

25. “Overheated”

Album: Happier Than Ever

Billie uses “Overheated” as a vehicle to hit back at body-shamers, wryly asking, “Is it news? News to who? / That I really looked just like the rest of you?” It shouldn’t be, and luckily for us, she won’t “be defeated.”

24. “My Boy”

Album: Don’t Smile At Me EP

Dropping in with a grooving, neo-jazz intro, “My Boy” quickly pivots into new sonic territory, dropping in a hi-hat rhythm, a funky bass line, R&B melody, and even a spooky theremin. The mish-mash of genre never once overwhelms Billie’s vocal, though: she commands the song with observations about a two-faced love interest who “loves his friends like I love my split ends.”

23. “Not My Responsibility”

Album: Happier Than Ever

Opinions: everyone has them, and if you’re as famous as Billie’s become, everyone’ll have them about you. This minimalist, spoken-word track, appearing on Happier Than Ever, has Billie attempting to make sense of this phenomenon, pointing out the double-standards placed on female pop stars (“If I wear what is comfortable, I am not a woman; If I shed the layers, I’m a slut”). Ultimately, she concludes that it’s useless to engage — your opinions are not her responsibility.

22. “Oxytocin”

Album: Happier Than Ever

It kinda makes sense that an album called Happier Than Ever would feature a rushing song named after a hormone associated with love. Drawing sonic comparisons to experimental performers like Grimes and even Nine Inch Nails, “Oxytocin” crashes into your ears like a waterfall of sound and gives Billie ample space to explore a late-adolescence ode to lust.

21. “Party Favor”

Album: Don’t Smile At Me EP

This super-simple song sounds like a peek into Billie’s earliest songwriting, led by ukulele strums and accented with tinkling bells. Don’t let the lighthearted, folksy melody fool you though — the lyrics give way to a scenario where Billie is leaving an overly possessive love interest on his birthday. “You just want what you can’t have,” she warns him. Part of growing up means realizing that there’s never an ideal time to leave, so it might as well be now.

20. “Six Feet Under”

Fun fact about Billie’s debut 2016 single that seems like a family Easter egg: Billie’s mom, Maggie Baird, had a small but vital role on HBO’s ‘00s funeral parlor drama Six Feet Under. Likewise, one of the most pivotal needle-drops in TV history is Sia’s “Breathe Me,” which soundtracked the final scene on Six Feet Under’s series finale. Circling back, Billie’s gentle yet forlorn “Six Feet Under” opens with a similar first line from “Breathe Me”: “Help, I lost myself again” (Sia’s was “Ouch, I have lost myself again”). Coincidence? I hope not.

19. “NDA”

Album: Happier Than Ever

Ascending to the levels of fame Billie has would undoubtedly leave the anyone with a lot to process. Happier Than Ever unwinds a number of those lessons, and its second single, “NDA,’ unpacks those themes on a more microcosmic scale. Against a spare acoustic plucks, Billie tackles secret relationships and houses (the singer reportedly moved out of her parents’ place in 2019), cancel culture, stalkers, and then some. Listening to the pulsating “NDA” is even a little stressful, but it’s probably nothing compared to what its author experiences on a daily basis.

18. “Wish You Were Gay”

Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

“I just wanna make you feel OK / But all you do is look the other way.” Despite the potentially misleading title (Billie’s caught some flack for queer-baiting), you can’t argue with the highly relatable themes in this mid-tempo jaunt. So often when we like someone and they don’t feel the same way, we get a lot of “it’s not you, it’s me.” Except that oftentimes it IS us. So wouldn’t it be nice if it actually was them?

17. “No Time To Die”

For the longest time, Billie and Finneas’ cinematic entry into the Bond canon stood firmly on its own without an accompanying film, which kept getting pushed back due to the Covid pandemic. It’s a strong song even if you cut out the Bond machine. Add it back in, though, and it’s even more impressive, with Billie’s cooing vocals smooth-sailing over elaborate, swelling strings. Billie and Finneas successfully left their stamp on the franchise without ever overwhelming.

16. “Watch”

Album: Don’t Smile At Me EP

Generally, Billie is best known for her minimalist, non-traditional song frameworks. Not so with “Watch,” which evolves into a sweeping, orchestral chorus about leaving a toxic relationship (“I’ll sit and watch your car burn / With the fire that you started in me”). The beat, meanwhile, tick-tocks like a literal timepiece, offering a clever double-meaning to the song’s title.

15. “I Love You”

Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

A quiet acoustic ballad near the end of Billie’s debut LP, “I Love You” is a fluid, slowly expanding song about being drawn to someone despite not wanting to be. “Maybe won’t you take it back / Say you were tryna make me laugh / And nothing has to change today / You didn’t mean to say ‘I love you’ / I love you and I don’t want to,” Billie sings, joined in by Finneas on backing vocals. Love has rarely sounded so bittersweet.

14. “Bury A Friend”

Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Playing out like a horror film, the galloping “Bury A Friend” is undoubtedly the tone-setter for Billie’s debut LP. Her manipulated vocals barely rise above a murmur as screams sound in the distance. In an uncannily apt adolescence-as-horror symbolic move, “Bury A Friend” also contains the screech of Billie’s orthodontist shaving off her braces. And yet, this song is not so one-note: its steady rhythm almost sounds like a childhood nursery rhyme, giving “Bury A Friend” unexpected depth.

13. “Xanny”

Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
It’s a little wild to think how a song named after the teen slang term for benzodiazepines was actually inspired by Frank Sinatra. Chalk it up to Billie’s unique understanding of classic pop and jazz, which is on full display here. A downtempo ballad, “Xanny” is led by Billie’s quivering vocals and drizzled with piano flourish. But because it’s Billie (and Finneas), they can’t resist a little sonic experimentation that sonically mirrors the moment a K-hole drags you in.

12. “My Future”

Album: Happier Than Ever

When fame comes as fast as it did for Billie, there’s not always time to slow down and process. Maybe Covid, when “My Future” was written, served as a good thing for Billie, then, who no doubt got the time she needed to digest all of the attention, critical adulation, and Grammy awards she earned around When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Here, over a quickened beat, Billie looks forward to what’s next, claiming that she doesn’t know — anymore than we do — what that’ll look like.

11. “Happier Than Ever”

Album: Happier Than Ever

Many of Billie’s songs have a tendency to switch gears, and her second album’s title track is a prime example of that pattern, starting out totally stripped-back and evolving into an explosive, bring-the-house-down ballad.

10. “Lost Cause”

Album: Happier Than Ever

A kiss-off anthem as only Billie could do, “Lost Cause” is a portrait of a woman coming into her own as both a singer and young adult. Over a trip-hop beat, Billie sings about how hindsight is everything (“thought you had your shit together, but damn, I was wrong”) and what once looked anti-establishment is actually just lame and irresponsible (“I know you think you’re such an outlaw / But you got no job”).

9. “Therefore I Am”

Album: Happier Than Ever

Billie again bites back at the onslaught of opinions, specifically those of the press (“articles, articles, articles… Got a lotta interviews, interviews, interviews… Get my pretty name out of your mouth”). When extreme fame shows up, the press cycle becomes more of a necessary evil — an occupational hazard, even. To process, Billie adopts a Cartesian phrase and the result is a spectacularly groovy hip-pop ode to those who would write clickbait about her.

8. “Everything I Wanted”

“I had a dream / I got everything I wanted.” The opening line from Billie’s one-off release between albums says it all. More to the point, though, “Everything I Wanted” is a truly gorgeous ode to the relationship between Billie and Finneas, two siblings who genuinely appear to support each other in their creative endeavors. “But when I wake up, I see / You with me,” Billie concludes in a murmured thank you to her older brother and closest collaborator. Staying grounded is easy with this kind of familial support.

7. “You Should See Me In A Crown”

Album: When We All Asleep, Where Do We Go?

One of the darkest songs in Billie’s catalog, “You Should See Me In A Crown” is also one of the most sonically rich. Hi-hats skitter over a migraine-inducing beat, while the opening seconds contain a recording of Billie’s father sharpening knives. And yet, thanks to a dynamic uptempo rhythm, “You Should See Me In A Crown” ends up being one hell of a satisfying pop song, surpassing genre and containing unlimited emotional depth.

6. “All the Good Girls Go to Hell”

Album: When We All Asleep, Where Do We Go?

The thematic depth of this single becomes immediately apparent the moment Billie croaks, “My Lucifer is lonely.” Over a savvy, upbeat rhythm, the singer spins a yarn about how the human race has so royally screwed itself over around climate change that now God and the Devil, like disappointed parents, have to talk about why their subjects have made such a mess of things on Earth. It’s like Gen Z’s reimagining of Paradise Lost.

5. “Lovely” featuring Khalid

Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

One has to choose wisely when selecting a guest vocalist to sing with Billie, and the powers that be chose wisely in Khalid. Together, their soaring voices compliment each other without overwhelming each other, creating a stunning, instant-classic ballad for the ages.

4. “Your Power”

Album: Happier Than Ever

Years after the #MeToo revolution of 2017, we’re still having conversations about how the rich and powerful regularly abuse their authority. This is Billie’s entry into the canon, with a painstakingly delicate track about the dangerous dynamics of control, and how we owe it to each other to change things for the better.

3. “When The Party’s Over”

Album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Billie’s ethereal falsetto has never sounded more bone-chilling here. Accompanied by almost no instruments, save for sub-bass and a little piano, “When The Party’s Over” is a true showcase of Billie’s vocal ability and Finneas’ innovative production, which layered nearly 100 vocal tracks on top of each other to create that ultra-dense harmony.

2. “Ocean Eyes”

Album: Don’t Smile At Me EP

Billie was scary-young when this gem of a track first came out — barely 15. But the full breadth of her talents were definitely on display, even as far back as 2016. The harmony-driven “Ocean Eyes” is a simple song, both lyrically and production-wise, but it doesn’t need any flourish. Billie’s crystalline, beyond-her-years vocals take center stage and pull you in with the unseen force of an undertow.

1. “Bad Guy”

Album: When We All Asleep, Where Do We Go?

For the average music fan, Billie arguably blew up the moment “Bad Guy” came out. She’s grown exponentially as a singer and songwriter since then, but at the time, “Bad Guy” served as something of a marketing pitch for who Billie is as a performer: innovative, mysterious, funny, self-effacing, and totally unbound by genre. Aided by Finneas’ wide-open-spaces production technique, “Bad Guy” bounces with trippy beats, a haunting synth line, and Billie’s own hushed vocals. And it’s no wonder Billie’s hero Justin Bieber hopped on board for the remix — the relative simplicity of a song like “Bad Guy” proves the staying power of pop’s classic formula of repetition and minimalism — with an innovative personality like Billie’s thrown in for good measure.

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