Song of the Week: Billie Eilish’s Storytelling Magic Shines on “The 30th”

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The post Song of the Week: Billie Eilish’s Storytelling Magic Shines on “The 30th” appeared first on Consequence.

Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Billie Eilish stuns with surprise track “The 30th.” 

If Billie Eilish is going to do one thing, it’s give us a stellar bridge.

This week, Eilish surprise-released a two-song EP, Guitar Songs, created alongside her brother, longtime co-writer, and expert producer FINNEAS. The second track, “The 30th,” highlights the balance of vulnerability, specificity, and utter relatability that has made Eilish a household name and so beloved across demographics. Here, she’s singing to somebody involved in a near-fatal accident.

In a conversation with Zane Lowe for Apple Music, Eilish shared that this was the first song she had written since the release of her lauded sophomore album, Happier Than Ever. It feels like a reasonable next step for her following that record, particularly once the song reaches the bridge, which builds in a way that recalls the unforgettable explosion of “Happier Than Ever.” Here, though, where the listener expects for a release, Eilish instead pulls back, leaving us gasping for air.

It’s savvy and visceral, and the kind of unexpected quirk that keeps Eilish separated from so many of her other dark-pop cohorts. “In a hospital bed, I remember you said/ You were scared/ And so was I,” she repeats throughout the song before changing the final line to “So am I,” leaving the story unfinished and lingering on shaky ground.

In a statement about “The 30th” and “TV,” Eilish shared, “FINNEAS and I really wanted these to be yours as soon as possible.” These two songs, for now, exist outside of an album rollout or larger project, capturing a moment in an ever-tumultuous time with the openness that makes her so special.

— Mary Siroky
Contributing Editor

Honorable Mentions:

Madison Cunningham – “In From Japan”

There’s a classic air to Madison Cunningham’s “In From Japan,” the latest single from her forthcoming album, Revealer. Her descending, kaleidoscopic melodies rise and fall with grandeur, her voice crystal clear and commanding. “No one’s holding you back now,” she sings warily to herself throughout the song, each ensuing metaphor creating a dazzling world of space for her to inhabit. There’s a great deal of wisdom and comfort swimming through “In From Japan,” but all the while, Cunningham is certainly pushing herself as a songwriter and vocalist. She’s right: no one’s holding her back now. — Paolo Ragusa

The Murder Capital – “Only Good Things”

Irish post-punks The Murder Capital have returned with a brand new song, “Only Good Things,” and it marks a brand new direction for the band. The angst that characterized their first album, When I Have Fears, is nearly gone, channeled instead through a wash of guitars and earnestly sung vocals. Where vocalist James McGovern once cynically sang “don’t cling to life/ there’s nothing on the other side,” he now sings wholeheartedly about love and newfound joy.

“Show me to think/ Only good things,” he sings serenely, later arriving on a blissful high as he belts “how it’s all beautiful/ how it’s beautiful.” The peace with which the band operates feels bold and new, but at the same time, “Only Good Things” shows that the band has never lost that poetic sense of freedom. — P.R.

Sam Feldt, Monsta X – “Late Night Feels” 

K-pop act Monsta X has teamed up with DJ Sam Feldt, and together they’re channeling all the bright summer energy on a new English-language track, “Late Night Feels.” It has the vibes of the Joe Jonas-fronted band DNCE — catchy, silky-smooth, and disco-inspired with a plentiful horn section to keep spirits high. While the playful music video lacks an appearance from the members of Monsta X themselves, a fun light choreo moment always makes everything better. (Plus, depending on what your FYP looks like on TikTok, you might spot some familiar faces.) — M.S. 

Teens in Trouble – “Decomposing”

“Decomposing” is just the third song released by Teens in Trouble, but it’s already abundantly clear that they’re ready to take the power-pop scene by storm. Catchy, energetic, and equal parts Weezer and Jeff Rosenstock, rarely do artists hit upon such gold while only having a cumulative nine minutes of material released.

The track, along with previous single “I’m Not Worried,” tease Teens in Trouble’s debut EP, out September 2nd on Asian Man Records. With their knack for melody, punchy songwriting, and ‘fast-and-loose’ vibes, they couldn’t have found a better home than Asian Man, a label with DIY cred to spare. They’ve set the bar high for themselves, but while we wait to see if they can deliver in September, “We are dirt/ We are clean/ We are slowly decomposing” will be playing on loop in our heads. — Jonah Krueger

The Garden – “Orange County Punk Rock Legend”

Even by The Garden Standards, “Orange County Punk Rock” is a pretty wacky tune. The sweet acoustic guitar line that opens the track is quickly drowned out by harsh electronics, earth-shattering 808s, a throat-shredding vocal performance, and what sounds like samples of metal scraping against concrete. By the time you catch up to the weird world the duo has established, the track comes to an abrupt close. It’s hard to pin down tonally, strangely structured, and almost jarring in its composition – and for The Garden, these are the highest of compliments. It’s a glorious ride. — J.K.

Shutups – “Endless Heaven”

Good things come to those who wait. In the case of Shutups’ “Endless Heaven,” good things come to those who wait one minute and thirty-five seconds. It’s then when the song, mid-paced and dreamy up to this point, hits its first fuzzed-out, blood-pumping climax.

“Endless Heaven,” the first single from the group’s upcoming album I can’t eat nearly as much as I want to vomit (whadda title!), finds Shutups at their best. The songwriting is dynamic and thought-out, the sonics are impeccable, and the lyrics exhibit a depressed sense of humor that is oh-so-irresistible. It’s a damn good way to begin an album rollout. — J.K.

NewJeans – “Attention”

This week, HYBE (the powerhouse South Korean company behind BTS and TOMORROW X TOGETHER) dropped a track out of nowhere from a yet-to-debut girl group called NewJeans — and what a pleasant surprise it is. The track is an incredibly refreshing first look at the upcoming project, landing on the fringes of R&B in a way that recalls girl groups of the early 2000s. In the midst of so much aughts nostalgia, it’s a smart move, but it’s also just fun to see a group leaning into that sound rather than the hyperpop that tends to characterize debuting girl groups in K-pop. Sure, they still have to debut, but what’s our fan name going to be? Denims? We’re open to ideas. — M.S.

Ali McGuirk – “All Back”

Ahead of new album Til It’s Gone (out September 16th on Signature Sounds), singer-songwriter Ali McGuirk has shared “All Back,” a track that highlights her signature soulful sound. On the bluesy, nostalgic song, McGuirk channels a touch of Amy Winehouse with the natural rasp in her vocals. “All Back” feels like it could exist somewhere outside of space and time — it could be on a record in the background of a party in a 1970s bungalow, or it could be on your Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify. Either way, it’s a great listen. — M.S.

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Song of the Week: Billie Eilish’s Storytelling Magic Shines on “The 30th”
Mary Siroky and Consequence Staff

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