As I launched myself back into reality and away from windows overlooking passing gondolas, I discovered the newest trend in the world – and it’s weird. As I have still been listening to Ariana Grande, a girl half my age with a voice as sinister as it is beautiful showed up.
I just heard Billie Eilish today and I hate that I like some of her songs. Some of the lyrics are good: “When we fall asleep, where do we go?” Her voice is my kind of thing (especially to write to) but then it just gets creepy and strange and I hate it. I know that is the point, and it’s obviously working. It reminds me of Lady Gaga but of this era with tattooed faces and really limited word-count interviews with kids that look like they just woke up.
Where did she come from and why is she that perfect mix of alluring and ridiculous? Is this the mood that has taken over? I’m ready to go back to a time when a dress made out of steak was the strangest it got. Now one of the top songs on the charts is about burying friends. Yet, I’ve listened to it more than once.
The writer in me wants to dissect this phenomenon, rewrite the lyrics and figure them out. Why that rasp and repetition gets to us. Why that one line vibrates just the right way to trigger something – even if the rest is too much. It wraps so many people in – this strange new type of music. I find myself just on the cusp of turning it off, and then one little thing draws me back. Creepy.
I realize as I analyze this 17-year old I am now a part of an “older” generation associated with a “type” of music. It reminds me of back when we used to go visit my Nana and Dud at the nursing home. Another woman that lived there would always be singing and humming as she sat in her wheelchair, “old” songs, I’d call them then – the ones you’d play on a record player. It was around that time that 50 Cent was popular – top of the charts – and 21 Questions had a lyric that put my father into a laughing fit the first time he heard it on the radio.
“I love you like a fat kid love cake.”
After he’d recovered and could make out words again, he turned to me in the car – “Someday, you’re going to be in a nursing home and you’ll be singing that!”
I will. I will be proudly humming In Da Club and requesting N*Sync for the background music for bingo. I’ll want Christina Aguilera to Shania Twain and the Dave Matthews Band and Counting Crows. I can just keep going but I’ll spare you – my music preferences run haywire. Regardless, it means that even though I listen to this new-fangled music, my heart isn’t set on it. Not yet anyway. But I do love a killer lyric and When we all fall asleep, where do we go? is inspiration enough to write for a thousand years. So maybe Billie will find herself on my playlists more often if it makes the words flow.