I don’t really listen to Billie Eilish.

Here’s what I know about her: green hair (cool), big clothes (relatable), and she recently said that she realized she wants her face in a vagina (EXTREMELY relatable).

She has existed in my peripheral since 2019, but I hadn’t paid much attention. The first reason for this is that she’s a tiny baby. She was born in 2001, so we’re just different enough in age that my zillennial cusp brain categorized her as part of a separate generation. I’ve heard Ocean Eyes, and I added Everything I Wanted and Therefore I Am to my liked songs back in 2020, but that’s the full extent of my interaction with Ms. Eilish. Until now.

I also don’t usually care for downtempo music. I even started a playlist of high energy lesbian songs, featuring music that doesn’t make me sleepy. (By the way, please comment suggestions for this playlist. I’m begging you).

Expecting a full hour of snores, I didn’t have any particular intentions of listening to the new Billie Eilish album. And then I heard LUNCH

And I said to myself, wait a second, Billie’s singing about eating pussy. That’s… RELATABLE!

Immediately, I have to give her some props. Besides songs that put me to sleep, I have two major pet peeves as a voracious consumer of lesbian music: vagueness and lip gloss.

I don’t literally mean lip gloss. I mean music that’s essentially about being femme4femme. It’s just not my thing. Neither my wife nor I have worn lip gloss in a decade. Heels, makeup, doing each other’s hair – clearly some women are into that, but to me it just sounds like middle school. And as for the vagueness, I’m not sipping wine with my wife, I’m eating her out. Give me songs about fingering!

LUNCH avoids all three of my least favorite things about a lot of lesbian songs. It has energy, it’s specific about wanting to have lesbian sex, and it’s not about how cute her dresses or whatever are. Color me intrigued.

HIT ME HARD AND SOFT is only 44 minutes long. Let’s check out the other songs.

A screenshot of the HIT ME HARD AND SOFT album on Spotify.

We start with SKINNY. This is a classic, slow, sleepy song. Not my type of music, but I get what she’s going for. It seems authentic. What I got from this one is that Billie is wrestling with the absolute shitshow of having become famous as a teenager. I don’t think I’d wish that on anybody.

The fact that LUNCH comes directly after this song is kind of hilarious though. It’s like, “life is fucked up and now I’m an adult dealing with the abuse that happened to me as a teenage girl. People say I look happy but I’m not, I just lost weight. I still cry all the time. Anyway, you won’t believe how bad I want to fuck this girl.”

We already talked about LUNCH, so let’s move on to CHIHIRO. This one has a pulse, which is nice. Maybe I wasn’t giving her enough credit before. Her songs aren’t all slow and sad. She has a track record of putting out some smooth boppable music. I’d drive down the interstate to this one.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER is about loving someone until she dies, and not wanting to live anymore if that person dies first. Is this about the same girl from LUNCH? This one has a lot of potential to be the background music in a bunch of femslash edits. Someone should get on that.

WILDFLOWER seems to be about second-guessing her partner’s relationship with their ex. Feeling as if she (Billie) might have moved too quickly on the partner after their last breakup. This feels honest to me. Obsessing over your partner’s ex isn’t something one usually does to look cool.

We’re back to the slower, breathier stuff with THE GREATEST. At one point during this song, my crappy little 10-year-old laptop’s fan went off and I thought it was part of the ambience. I’m going to count it as a win that I’m no longer depressed enough for this song to hit me hard.

In L’AMOUR DE MA VIE, she sings about moving on from an ex who she used to call the love of her life. Whoever this is about sounds like kind of a jackass considering they said they would die if she “tried to leave.” Oh, and then we get an interesting little genre switch right in the middle of the song. Is this considered hyperpop?

We’re running out of time to be explicitly gay again on this album – only three tracks left. C’mon baby Billie!

Screenshot of Billie Eilish's The Diner, showing the lyric 'you could be my wife'
“You could be my wife”

Oh thank goodness.

Screenshot of Billie Eilish's The Diner, showing the lyric 'til I saw the sitter leave'
“Till I Saw the Sitter Leave”

Wait a second.

I’ve been Betty’d again. THE DINER is from someone else’s perspective.

This is cool though. Creepy. This is definitely going on my Halloween playlist this year. I don’t want to spoil it, so give it a listen if that sounds like something you’d be into.

Then the opening of BITTERSUITE hit me and I was 100% prepared to hear “Want a break from the ads?” This one is also a little more experimental. I’m not sure that I’d listen to it on repeat, but it was interesting.

We arrive at the final track: BLUE. This one references the hell out of the rest of the tracks. I’ll accept my senior citizen card now and admit that I kind of like that most of the songs on HIT ME HARD AND SOFT are over 3 minutes long and reference the other songs on the album. Back in my day, that was normal!

BLUE sure seems like it’s about a very specific person – an ex who wasn’t the best, but she understands why they are the way they are. I felt like people who knew more than 3 things about Billie Eilish would have a much better shot at figuring out the context, so I went and did a little research.

The internet speculates that this song is about a guy named Jesse Rutherford, the 32-year-old lead singer of The Neighborhood. It looks like Billie was 20 and he was 31 when they started dating. I don’t know anything else about this man, but I am judging him.

I looked for more context. I went back and read the 7000-word Rolling Stone article (linked at the top) and not just the vagina quote. I listened to her first album while I read. And I learned she has a really cute pit bull named Shark.

Billie Eilish and her dog named Shark on the beach

I learned that Billie doesn’t love singles because they’re released without the context of the album. Hence, this album has no singles and was released all at once. Though it does have one music video (so far), and that’s for LUNCH.

There’s a lot more to the quote in context. I’ve put some of the points that caught my interest in bold.

“[LUNCH] was actually part of what helped me become who I am, to be real,” Eilish says. “I wrote some of it before even doing anything with a girl, and then wrote the rest after. I’ve been in love with girls for my whole life, but I just didn’t understand — until, last year, I realized I wanted my face in a vagina. I was never planning on talking about my sexuality ever, in a million years. It’s really frustrating to me that it came up.”

Eilish is referring to her interview with Variety last fall, in which she mentioned she was attracted to women. The quote — “I’m attracted to them for real” — became a national headline. The following month, Eilish attended Variety’s Hitmakers event in L.A. While on the red carpet, she was asked if she intentionally came out in the story. “No, I didn’t,” she told them. “But I kind of thought, ‘Wasn’t it obvious?’” Eilish then posted about it on Instagram, with a caption that read, “Thanks Variety for my award and for also outing me on a red carpet at 11 a.m. instead of talking about anything else that matters. I like boys and girls leave me alone about it please literally who cares.”

Looking back, Eilish admits she overreacted with the Instagram post. “Who fucking cares?” she says. “The whole world suddenly decided who I was, and I didn’t get to say anything or control any of it. Nobody should be pressured into being one thing or the other, and I think that there’s a lot of wanting labels all over the place. Dude, I’ve known people that don’t know their sexuality, or feel comfortable with it, until they’re in their forties, fifties, sixties. It takes a while to find yourself, and I think it’s really unfair, the way that the internet bullies you into talking about who you are and what you are.”

Angie Martoccio: Billie Eilish Would Like to Reintroduce Herself (emphasis added)

You may have noticed by now that I’m the first person to turn everything into a joke. So after all this research, I’m a bit thrown off by what feels like reading this younger woman’s diary. She’s sincere. She’s only just recently realizing she likes women, and I’m happy for her.

I’m choosing not to be cynical. She’s an already-famous woman realizing that she likes women. We, as the fans, have been queerbaited plenty of times in the past few decades by popstars who either realized or admitted that they weren’t actually romantically interested in women. I don’t think that’s what’s happening here.

I’ll take a note from Billie and be sincere for a moment myself. I genuinely hope she gets to explore her interest in women with as few people as possible being weird to her about it. Same-sex love is natural, and good, and same-sex sex is too. I hope she eats that girl for lunch.