Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles is the new concert film by Grammy-winning artist Billie Eilish. The 65-minute film takes fans through Eilish’s second studio album from start to finish, with Eilish performing every song at the legendary Hollywood Bowl. Newsweek has a full breakdown of the songs performed during Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles, all of which were written and performed by Billie Eilish and her brother FINNEAS.
1. Getting Older
Billie Eilish opened Happier Than Ever: A Lover Letter to Los Angeles with the first track on her album, “Getting Older.”
In what is a vulnerable opening track, Eilish sings about the pressure of fame but her appreciation and love for her success.
She also opens up trauma and abuse in “Getting Older”. She sings “Cause, to be honest, I just wish the word I promised / Would depend on what I’m given’ (Not on his permission) / (Wasn’t my decision) to be abused.
“For anybody asking, I promise I’ll be fine,” she sings. “I’ve had some trauma / Did things I didn’t wanna / Was too afraid to tell ya / But now I think it’s time.”
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Eilish gave some insight into the process of writing “Getting Older” and its meaning.
She said she wanted her fans to “know everything about my life somehow” but that she wasn’t willing to talk about the song’s meaning any further.
She added: “I have experienced some stuff that I have never spoken about, and I don’t want to at all…I don’t want to f*****g talk about it.
“I don’t want to tell anyone, let alone the entire internet. It’s embarrassing to go through stuff like that. It’s why a lot of women and men — but especially women — don’t tell anyone when they’re going through it.
“But at the same time…even though I haven’t really done anything for [the #MeToo movement], it’s really important that young women know that it can happen to anyone. Just being taken advantage of.”
2. I Didn’t Change My Number
On “I Didn’t Change My Number”, Billie sings about a past relationship. The track also features samples of barks from her pitbull, Shark.
In the song, Eilish references her manager, Laura Ramsey when she sings “Laura said I should be nicer//But not to you.”
She also name-drops her childhood best friend Drew, when she sings “I should have left when Drew said you were bad news.”
3. Billie Bossa Nova
In “Billie Bossa Nova”, Billie sings about having a secret love affair over Bossa Nova beats, a type of traditional Brazilian music.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Eilish’s brother FINNEAS explained the inspiration behind the track.
He shared: “We have to do a lot of goofy b******* when we go on tour, where we enter through freight elevators in hotels and stuff, so that paparazzi doesn’t follow us to our room. And so we acted as if there was also a secret love affair going on in there of Billie being like, ‘Nobody saw me in the lobby/Nobody saw me in your arms,’ as if there was a mystery person in her life during all of that.”
4. My Future
“My Future” is the lead single of Happier Than Ever. In conversation with Zane Lowe, Eilish revealed the track was inspired by being alone in quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic.
She shared with her fans on Instagram ahead of the track’s release: “We wrote this at the very beginning of quarantine. It’s a song that’s really really personal and special to me. When we wrote this song, it was exactly where my head was at – hopeful, excited and a crazy amount of self-reflection and self-growth. But recently it has also taken on a lot of new meaning in the context of what’s happening in the world now. I hope you can all find meaning in it for yourselves.”
“Oxytocin” is the fifth song on Happier Than Ever but was the last track to be created for the album.
The song is named after the hormone of the same name which is released during intimate moments such as hugging, sex, breast-feeding and childbirth.
Speaking to The Guardian, Eilish explained: “The color of whatever was in my brain while making it was dark, but also a flashing yellow. Honestly, the images I have for ‘Oxytocin’ were just sex. That’s it. All different kinds, and styles, and colors, and locations. That’s really what was in my head. Sex.”
During the Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles concert, Eilish revealed the choir performing alongside her for “Goldwig” was the choir she grew up in.
The segment of “Goldwig” the choir sing is an extract from a song Eilish used to sing as a child.
She shared: “I fell in love with then and I knew I wanted to put it in a song and I thought it would be really cool to have them come out and sing it here. It’s just a really cute full-circle moment.”
7. Lost Cause
On “Lost Cause”, Billie sings about an individual in her life who thought they were the most impressive in the room but actually, had very little going for them.
8. Halley’s Comet
“Halley’s Comet” is named after the first comet discovered in the 18th century. The comet is so rare, it is believed a human will only see it twice in a human’s life.
Speaking to Spotify, Eilish shared: “Halley’s Comet’s just about fallin’ in love and feeling a feeling of euphoria and life kind of feeling like you’re floating and—y’know—love is a crazy-crazy thing and Halley’s Comet’s just like a sweet little romantic song.”
9. Not My Responsibility
“Not My Responsibility” is an interlude written and produced by Eilish.
The spoken-word piece was accompanied by a short film in Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles, depicting a animated version of Eilish taking off her clothes.
In “Not My Responsibility” she addresses and criticizes the public body-shaming she and others in the music industry have received.
In “Overheated”, Eilish addresses the way she has been objectified in the media.
She also calls out the unrealistic pedestal people in the public eye are placed on.
Eilish told Spotify: “We took the production from “Not My Responsibility” and turned it into a beat and then wrote “Overheated” and it’s really just about the same thing.”
She continued: ” It’s really just about the insanity of paparazzi and articles, and comment sections, and Twitter!”
11. Everybody Dies
In Everybody Dies, Eilish sings about only having one opportunity on this Earth, so we should live life to the fullest.
12. Your Power
“Your Power” is the third single off of Happier Than Ever.
The ballad is one of Eilish’s “favorite songs” and in her famous 2021 British Vogue cover story, she explained “Your Power” was an “open letter to people who take advantage of [others]”, body image and sexual misconduct.
“NDA” is the fourth single of Happier Than Ever. In the dark track, Eilish sings about her battle with fame and her want for privacy.
Speaking to Zane Lowe for Apple Music, Eilish shared: “We literally made that whole song in two days or something, a day, I don’t know. But it was a fun, satisfying-ass process. It was very, very fulfilling.”
14. Therefore I Am
“Therefore I Am” was the second single to be released from Happier Than Ever.
The song is about not taking life too seriously, Eilish explained to Zane Lowe.
“It was very fun to complete. It was fun to record. I feel like you can hear it. I feel that I sound very much like…I’m just f****** around. I’m just joking. It’s like, come on. It’s so real. I feel like a natural, and don’t take me seriously, you know? I love it.”
15. Happier Than Ever
“Happier Than Ever” is the penultimate track on the album and the title for the album.
On the track, Eilish sings about ending a relationship with an ex-boyfriend.
In the Apple TV documentary Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry, Eilish described “Happier Than Ever” as being about “nothing even specific that they did. You’re just not happy being with them. You can’t even explain it. I can’t even explain.”
16. Male Fantasy
Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles comes to an end with a melancholy ballad, where Eilish reflects on a recent break-up.
She also criticizes the “male fantasy”, the common trope in the entertainment industry in which everything we consume is fitted to appeal to the male fantasy and as a result, women are often objectified.
Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles is streaming on Disney+ now.
By MOLLI MITCHELL | Newsweek