When a music artist is of an age that a high school locker assignment is still a typical area of concern, it compounds the tendency to assume every song is a confession. Rather than pure invention, they must be using their songwriting notebook as a stand-in for a diary, right? I know that’s a reductive view, detached from the realities of creativity, and yet it sometimes feels like the theory burns with authenticity.
The new Billie Eilish track, “Everything I Wanted,” is her first new music since the release her debut full-length earlier this year. When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? became one of those modern rarities, an album that endured beyond the flare of its initial success. Nearly eight months after it hit record stores, the album is a mainstay in the Top 10 of the Billboard album chart and has sold over two million copies in the U.S. Eilish registered hit songs and almost immediately leveled up to playing stadiums. “Everything I Wanted” sure seems like a direct response to all that stratospheric success, directly addressing the pressure she feels.
The song is edgy, enticing, emotionally raw, and built upon subtle reinventions of pop structure that suggest it hasn’t even occurred to Eilish that there are rules to break. In short, it’s an extension of the blithe innovation that got Eilish to the exalted perch she sit on now. Maybe the track isn’t autobiographical, but it sure is true.