Billie Eilish – When I Was Older

Kerstin McClosky, Staff Writer

Billie Eilish, an up-and-coming teen alternative artist, recently kicked off the new year with the release of a new track titled When I Was Older. This ballad was inspired by Roma, a Netflix original drama released last year.

Anyone who watched Roma can clearly see the inspiration drawn from the film in one of the reoccurring lyrics in the song: “When I was older I was a sailor on an open sea. But now I’m underwater, and my skin is paler than it should ever be.” These lyrics reference a scene in the movie where a child named Pepe recalls a past life he’s experienced. He says “When I was older, I used to be a sailor, but I drowned in a storm.” Eilish manages to use this small piece from the movie in a powerful way without making the lyrical content of the whole song about it.

The song starts off with a lullaby-esque sound that brings up feelings of slight melancholy. The lullaby lasts slightly more than a minute and builds up to the more electronic sounding version of itself. Billie weaves the two different sounding parts of the song in a way that makes the transition from one to another smooth. Even though not all of the lyrics of the song are linked to Roma, someone that has watched the movie can quite possibly catch the familiar sounds of a dog barking, ocean sounds, and protesting that have been put in to help create the beat and rhythm of the track.

Much like any creation, When I Was Older does have its flaws. It is slightly repetitive, and the lyrics can be hard to hear at some points in the song. Overall the song has a solid structure and steady flow despite its small flaws.

When I Was Older is a must-listen no matter what kind of music you prefer. It’s very much worth the four and a half minutes taken out of your day.