Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Billie Eilish Calls ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’ the ‘Most Genuine Thing I’ve Ever Made’ on ‘Late Show’

By Michael May 22, 2024

Billie Eilish is not what you think she is. Except now, she told Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night’s (May 21) The Late Show, she finally is what she’s always wanted to be. “I think that with Hit Me Hard and Soft it’s like the first time since I’ve been an adult and maybe ever in my kind of creative life… it truly is the most genuine thing I’ve ever made,” she said of her just released third studio album.

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“It feels very, very me and it feels like all of the music is exactly who I am, all the visuals are exactly who I am and that’s honestly terrifying and that’s why I’m literally shaking right now,” she told Colbert, who parried back that exposing yourself like that requires vulnerability and removing the mask from the character you’re created to protect you.

Asked what she meant in a recent Rolling Stone cover story in which she said up until now she felt like she was playing a character, Eilish said after putting out her first songs as a “very young” teenager, she felt like audiences thought of her as “one thing,” leaving her little room to do anything but what people thought she was.

She called her previous album, 2021’s Happier Than Ever, a “reaction of, ‘you can’t tell me what to do! I’m gonna do whatever I want to do and here it is!’ And I think I may have gone a little… I really wanted to prove a point and so I think I went so far, but that’s kind of what I needed to do. I needed to play this whole thing of, ‘I’m not what you think I am.’ I thought at the time that it was very me and I realized in hindsight I was just trying to be seen and express myself and show that people can be multi-faceted and I am one of those people.”

Eilish also noted that she’s willing to suffer for her art, describing waking up at 7 a.m. the day after the most recent Grammy awards and driving to some “random” place in Santa Clarita to spend six hours inside a 10-foot deep water tank, fully clothed, to shoot the cover of the album. “Dude, I was wearing big, long pants, like giant Pro Club shorts. I was wearing a thermal long sleeve, a button-up flannel, a tie, rings, arm warmers, bracelet and a weight. I had a weight strapped to me,” she said, proudly affirming that it was all her idea.

In another segment, Eilish had a laugh when Colbert asked about a quote from her 2021 doc, The World’s a Little Blurry in which she described her family as “a song” in painting her musical upbringing. “Dude, my family is so musical and we always have been, and we remain that way,” Eilish said. “I grew up thinking that every family was like that. I thought that everyone was singing all the time and playing music with their family.”

When the audience chuckled, Eilish turned to them and swore that she actually thought all families were like that. “We’re big fans. Our whole family, we are music fans,” she said. “We love music and I think that’s really what it all stems from.” The night before, she noted, the whole fam sat around singing and playing guitar while harmonizing to the Beatles. “That’s what it’s always been and it’s so wonderful.”

Colbert also mentioned that Lana Del Rey introduced Eilish at Coachella last month, calling the 22-year-old singer “the voice of our generation. No pressure. How did it feel to have an artist you admire describe you that way?” he asked.

Eilish said it was “ridiculous,” returning the compliment by calling LDR the voice of her own generation, doubling-down by saying that Del Rey is one of the “top three reasons” that she is the person and artist that she is, as well as the reason she started making music to begin with. “It was crazy to hear her say that,” Eilish said. “I love her so much.” Then, while ticking off her early musical inspirations — which included such throwback legends Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, Julie London and Johnny Mathis — Colbert asked if Eilish would ever consider recording a standards album and she lit up with a sly smile.

“Yeah, yeah, I would love to do that some day,” Eilish said with a happy grin.

When Colbert asked what song she was planning to perform that night, Eilish blushed a bit, laughed and said she would be performing “Lunch.” She then closed out the night with brother/producer Finneas and her band, singing the homage to sapphic love on a dark stage lit by strobing lights while rocking a backwards plaid cap, oversized baseball jersey and striped tie and plaid culottes.

Watch Eilish perform “Lunch” and talk about her new album below.

By Michael

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