Billie Eilish is among today’s most successful singer-songwriters. On the verge of releasing her second album, Happier Than Ever, the pop adolescent has so far sold millions of copies, won many Grammys, and — just at age of 18 – recorded a classic Bond song, making her the youngest person already to do just that.
But, in terms of music analysis, how excellent is her voice? We go deep into Eilish’s solo voice in terms of style, timbre, range, and more, going beyond the celebrity and slick production.
Eilish’s voice has a poetic aspect to it, and her tone is often sweet and soothing. She has a keen sense of pitch, as seen by her riffing with her brother, Finneas, throughout the songwriting process of Billie Eilish’s debut album.
She sings with considerable vibrato and an expressive tone, but she never goes beyond her natural range to ‘belt,’ however when a singer extends their ‘chest’ voice over their break to really emphasise the sound.
When you contrast Eilish’s voice with that of a formally trained singer, there isn’t much in that way of loudness or tone colour contrast. But that’s primarily because that isn’t what this music necessitates, and “little” doesn’t always imply “none.” It’s all extremely understated.
Start with ‘ocean eyes,’ ‘everything I wanted,’ as well as I love you,’ then listen closely to ‘after the party’s finished’ to truly get into Eilish’s tone.
Billie Eilish’s understated authentic pop style calls for a beautiful and fragile timbre. Her voice is breathy as well as wispy, yet it’s no less forceful as well as sure.
Whenever it comes towards the timbre, or quality or style, of her voice, she doesn’t go for great contrasts like she does with her tone.
However, listen to ‘bellyache’ and afterwards ‘COPYCAT’ to hear Eilish’s voice’s breadth of characteristics. It’s not quite an operatic soprano, but it’s always under control. You’ll hear that it works just as well in gentle, acoustic guitar-led moments – where it’s defined by soft, muffled textures (as in the opening verses of the previous song) – as it does in an electronic club banger, where she ditches the interference in favour of a smoother, stronger vocal that cuts through.