ARTIST: Billy Ellish
TITLE: Don’t Smile at Me
YEAR RELEASED: 2017
CHART ACTION: #14 US, #12 UK
SINGLES: Charting (they all were singles of some form): Ocean Eyes (#84 US, #72 UK), Bellyache (#103 US, #79 UK), Copycat (#112 UK), Idontwannabeyouanymore (#96 US, #78 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Maybe – a lot of people streamed this
LINEUP: Billy Ellish, Finneas
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: EP that collected all of her early singles and recordings which act as a prelude and taster for her LP debut.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Billy Ellish didn’t just show up out of nowhere. Even though she’s young, in 2015 she was using Soundcloud to upload files – and “Ocean Eyes” became a hit on that service. It revealed a sophistication in melody and a production by her brother Finneas that made it hard to believe that she was just a teenager.
As the buzz happened, she and Finneas did more recordings and released them as singles or they were used for soundtracks. It’s rather impressive that she and her brother can conceive and release these tracks that are sophisticated and dark, and not necessarily custom made for the pop charts. She’s blazing her own trail which is refreshing.
This relatively short EP is a great intro to Ellish, if you have been under a rock this past year, and if you’re not, it shows that she and her brother were already making music that didn’t conform to pop’s barriers.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: As time went on, they added new singles to the very original EP release. You can do that with streaming.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, see above. And Japan, of course.
GRADE A-: Even as early as 15, Ellish was creating her own brand of electropop.