Billie Eilish’s ‘Xanny’ video captures isolation and drug addiction: A look at ‘Bad Guy’ singer’s remarkable career as she turns 18
Up until now, Eilish has been candid and realistic about the fact that she has been a minor and the personal challenges she's faced in the music industry. Her art has taken on an ethereal form in itself, with a unique sense of electropop/gothic alternative intertwined between dark and warped themes
Billie Eilish, the six-time Grammy-nominated artist, has just turned 18 yesterday and is speedily raising eyebrows and amassing fame. We take a look at her huge success as a breakthrough electropop/alternative artist so far and her latest video 'Xanny'.
Her 18th birthday is just weeks after she made Grammy history as the youngest artist to receive nominations across all four major categories: Record, Song, Album of the Year, and Best New Artist. She achieved this remarkable victory all within the space of just a year.
Additionally, her album engineers got a nod in the best-engineered album category, including her brother and collaborator Finneas, who received three nominations, according to The Guardian.
Up until now, Eilish has been candid and realistic about the fact that she has been a minor and the personal challenges she's faced in the music industry. Her art has taken on an ethereal form in itself, with a unique sense of electropop/gothic alternative intertwined between dark and warped themes.
Eilish had us sinking in sadness and floating in charm with her 2006 single, 'Ocean Eyes'. With the gentle percussive pops of the electropop drums and the waves of synth strings hitting us deep as we were immersed in the comfort of her relatable voice, you couldn't help but think of waves of the ocean passing by as the song progressed.
With her playfully villainous larks in 'Bad Guy,' her artistic portrayal of the emotions of fear, friendship and everything in between, and with her performance of the imaginary entity we all feared under our beds as kids in the music video 'Bury a Friend', Billie has already broken unseen borders of the artistic musical realm.
In a recent interview with the Guardian, Eilish spoke out about the glamorization of drug use, particularly when it comes to teens and young adults, revealing it's a subject close to her heart. Her recently released 'Xanny' music video, named after the drug Xanax, displays a painful portrayal of a sombre and sober Eilish becoming a human ashtray.
In the video, we see cigarette smoke from people smoking outside the view of the camera, and later, said people stubbing their cigarette buds on her face, rather contemptfully. The video released on YouTube December 5.
Xanax is a prescription drug for managing anxiety and has also risen in popularity for recreational use over time. The song and video portray a sense of alienation in a world that seems to have lost its mind over cigarettes and drug usage.
Eilish sits alone on a bench with the entire scenery in clean white, including her clothing, a sort of resemblance of a white-padded room merged with an empty clean underground subway station. Elish has always thrived on imagery with her canvas being what induces horror and pain in one's mind, and with the imagery of 'Xanny' it is easy to see her dislike for the usage of drugs and cigarettes.
The song opens with a super soft jazz lounge tone followed by her vocals which have an added fluttery, distorted effect similar to the sounds of someone singing sweet nothings into a fan - You all know you've tried when you were a kid! The trudging irregular rhythm pokes at our emotions along with a visibly in pain Eilish from multiple burn marks on the face (it's pretty graphic).
A sweet piano melody chimes in while the whole video plays out like a convincing tragedy piece on the absurdity of the effects of drugs themselves. "I'm in their second-hand smoke. Still just drinking canned coke. I don't need a xanny to feel better"; the lyrics evidently point out Eilish's views on drugs, reflecting a form of separate alienated view from the world of drug abusers.
"What is it about them? I must be missing something. They just keep doing nothing. Too intoxicated to be scared, " it continues. Eilish has a reputation for over-the-top imagery presented with subtle, soft musical tones vocalized by her famously husky whispery voice, and now, at the turn of 18, we eagerly await each new project of hers as she begins to put her youth behind.
You can watch 'Xanax' here.