Song of the Week: Billie Eilish’s Storytelling Magic Shines on “The 30th”

Shutups, The Murder Capital, and NewJeans also dropped essential tracks

billie eilish the 30th
Billie Eilish, photo by Mason Poole

    Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Billie Eilish stuns with surprise track “The 30th.” 

    If Billie Eilish is going to do one thing, it’s give us a stellar bridge.

    This week, Eilish surprise-released a two-song EP, Guitar Songs, created alongside her brother, longtime co-writer, and expert producer FINNEAS. The second track, “The 30th,” highlights the balance of vulnerability, specificity, and utter relatability that has made Eilish a household name and so beloved across demographics. Here, she’s singing to somebody involved in a near-fatal accident.

    In a conversation with Zane Lowe for Apple Music, Eilish shared that this was the first song she had written since the release of her lauded sophomore album, Happier Than Ever. It feels like a reasonable next step for her following that record, particularly once the song reaches the bridge, which builds in a way that recalls the unforgettable explosion of “Happier Than Ever.” Here, though, where the listener expects for a release, Eilish instead pulls back, leaving us gasping for air.


    It’s savvy and visceral, and the kind of unexpected quirk that keeps Eilish separated from so many of her other dark-pop cohorts. “In a hospital bed, I remember you said/ You were scared/ And so was I,” she repeats throughout the song before changing the final line to “So am I,” leaving the story unfinished and lingering on shaky ground.

    In a statement about “The 30th” and “TV,” Eilish shared, “FINNEAS and I really wanted these to be yours as soon as possible.” These two songs, for now, exist outside of an album rollout or larger project, capturing a moment in an ever-tumultuous time with the openness that makes her so special.

    — Mary Siroky
    Contributing Editor

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