What does self-doubt feel like when you’re one of the most famous teenagers on earth?
That’s the bold and self-aware premise of Billie Eilish’s “Everything I Wanted,” her first new single since the leviathan success of her debut LP, last year’s “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” That album’s singles have been streamed billions of times since its release, and her most recent tour has filled U.S. arenas — she’s now as major a pop star as the country can offer.
But “Everything” almost shies away from that rush of success. The track is built on a a misty, echoing loop that keeps her downcast voice front and center in the mix. It never lifts off like hits “Bad Guy” or “Bury a Friend,” but it feels even more confrontational for it, revealing the singer’s very mixed feelings about young superstardom.
In an interview in a Highland Park studio for a forthcoming feature, Eilish briefly discussed the track a day before its release.
“The song coming out is a bit about fame,” Eilish said, before paraphrasing what turned out to be the song’s opening lyrics: “Everything I want, I got it, but it might have been a nightmare. That was me for a while.”
“I’m trying to enjoy it,” she said of her recent status as perhaps the most dynamic, culture-shifting young pop star in America. “It gives you a new perspective. Every lyric is really specific, but I also want to let people come to their own conclusions.”