By Chris Willman | 21 July 2022 | Variety
Billie Eilish has released two new songs, “TV” and “The 30th,” to streaming services under the umbrella title of “Guitar Songs.”
“TV” has already captured fans’ attention after she premiered it live in the U.K. in June on her “Happier Than Ever” tour, but “The 30th” will come as new to all listeners.
“Finneas and I really wanted these to be yours as soon as possible,” Eilish said in a statement, mentioning her producer/co-writer brother. “So here they are! Performing ‘TV’ on tour was such a highlight for us too, so we took the audio from the first night we played it in Manchester and put it in the song. I get shivers every time I hear it. Hope you love the songs and thank you for letting us share our music with you.”
“The 30th” describes in specific detail the aftermath of an accident involving someone close to the singer, and her relief that the loved one survived, with the tenderly sung lyrics including: “And I know you don’t remember calling me / But I told you even then you looked so pretty / In your hospital bed / I remember you said you were scared / And so am I.” Eilish even describes passing the scene of the accident on the Golden State Freeway, not knowing who it involved: “And I stand still on the 5 / Thought it was unusual, the early traffic / Usually I don’t panic / I just wanted to be on time / When I saw the ambulances on the shoulder / I didn’t even think of pulling over / I pieced it all together late that night.”
“TV,” as fans know, leans more toward sociopolitical commentary. Its debut in performance last month came as a surprise since artists are increasingly reluctant to try out new material that will instantly land on YouTube, but as it turned out, her followers didn’t have to wait long for an official release. “We haven’t played a new song live before it’s out since 2017 or 2018,” Eilish had told concertgoers at the time.
The “studio” version is partly a live track, as Eilish indicates; the finale of the song includes the vocals of the audience singing along at Manchester’s AO Arena.
Both of these new acoustic songs have lyric videos to accompany them.
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