Billie Eilish – live at Reading Festival 2019 – Recorded August 24, 2019 – BBC 6 Music –
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Billie Eilish this weekend. A lot of my friends who align themselves with Indie and underground find her a breath of fresh air. My Mainstream friends are still trying to figure out who she is, but having a number 1 single on the charts, and being the first person born post-2000 to get a number 1 single, are starting to realize this is a talent that transcends genres. And frankly, that’s a good thing because the gap that has been existing between Indie and Mainstream is huge and shows no signs of getting closer any lifetime soon. So Billie Eilish is a welcome mediator, if even for a few minutes. Clearly, the Reading Festival crowd are fans, despite the searing heat of the day.
I’m not going to draw comparisons because everybody hears something or someone different to compare to. The thing about Billie Eilish is that level of “coming from the heart’ that imbues her music which puts her a few notches above many mainstream artists. I’m also not going to compare her live concert recordings to her studio recordings because, in a live setting, every inch of varnish and trim is scratched away and what’s left is bare-bones. And I’ve always been one to cite Live performance as a true test of an artists mettle, IMHO. Billie Eilish sounds great live – and this is, I think, the Indie part that comes through.
However you feel about her, Billie Eilish is somebody you can listen to and get something from. Although she tends to focus on the darker aspects of life, I don’t know a single 17 year old who doesn’t (remember, it’s the Marathon age where everything in life exists in the realm of the absolutes), she bears a considerable amount of conviction and sincerity in what she’s doing – and her voice is simple and evocative without being pyrotechnic.
Like I said, I find her in that meeting place between Mainstream and Indie where ideas are floating in the air. I’m looking forward to her career, and there is one for sure.
Enjoy the weekend.