On May 2nd, Billie Eilish broke Instagram’s record for the fastest photo to reach one million likes, making the milestone in under six minutes.
The Grammy award-winning 19-year-old posed for the cover of British Vogue in a custom Gucci corset and latex gloves, her newly blonde hair styled in pin-up like curls. Though the 40s-inspired looks may not seem out of the ordinary for a celebrity photoshoot, the cover represents a new era for Eilish. The singer has often changed her hairstyle with the coming of new music, but she is most well known for her signature, brightly-colored, baggy clothing style.
Eilish, who was well aware of the media attention she received for her outfits—and her body— had much to say on the subject in her Vogue interview.
“Suddenly you’re a hypocrite if you want to show your skin, and you’re easy and you’re a slut and you’re a whore. If I am, then I’m proud. Me and all the girls are hoes, and f**k it, y’know? Let’s turn it around and be empowered in that. Showing your body and showing your skin – or not – should not take any respect away from you,” Eilish said.
The entire shoot accompanies the release of her song, “Your Power,” from her upcoming album Happier than Ever. In an Instagram caption, Eilish revealed the personal importance of the song.
“This is one of my favorite songs I've ever written. I feel very vulnerable putting this one out because I hold it so close to my heart. This is about many different situations that we’ve all either witnessed or experienced,” wrote the singer.
Accompanied by soft acoustic guitar, the song is an intimate and melancholy look into an abusive relationship. Eilish sings of accountability, opening with the message, “Try not to abuse your power/I know we didn’t choose to change.”
As the song progresses, Eilish becomes more personal, singing, “I thought that I was special/You made me feel/Like it was my fault, you were the devil.” Many have speculated that the song is about a former relationship, though Eilish maintains that it is much more general.
These lines are made especially poignant in the music video, released on April 29. The video is simple, with Eilish sitting in a desert. As she sings, a snake slowly starts to wrap itself around her, getting tighter and tighter until the song ends. Many of Eilish’s other videos— such as “when the party’s over,” “idontwannabeyouanymore” and “Ocean Eyes”— are of a similar style, focusing on Eilish singing rather than elaborate dance sequences or storylines.
Still, “Your Power” feels different. From the color grading to the close-up shots of Eilish and her emotional expressions, not only the video but more importantly the song seems much more mature. It’s not radically different from any of Eilish’s other music, following the same whisper singing style Eilish uses on other songs like “Ocean Eyes” or “i love you.”
The music video and Eilish’s Vogue cover, depict an artist who is confident in her new endeavors—-as she should. As a single, “Your Power” is emotional, beautiful and so authentically Eilish, who has a talent for melding music, storytelling, and non-love centric themes. And if there’s anything we know for sure, it’s that Billie Eilish has yet to disappoint.