She’s one of the most fascinating pop stars in the world, but the first word you think of when you hear Billie Eilish’s name likely isn’t necessarily “classic”. Her biggest songs so far are bass-thumping, glitchy experimental pop jams, such as ‘Bury A Friend’ and the instantly iconic ‘Bad Guy’, while her interviews are frequently punctuated with “bros” and nonchalantly doled out curse words.
The 18-year-old had already proven herself to capable of more than just getting her listeners pumped up long before the release of her Bond theme song in February – ‘When The Party’s Over’ from her 2019 debut album was just as memorable as any of the weirder moments on the record. But elegance is a guise she’s started leaning into more since ‘No Time To Die’ was unveiled. In July, she shared ‘My Future’, a delicate, jazzy track that she quietly crooned her way through.
Now, 10 months after the Bond track’s initial release, Eilish is sticking with sophistication for the delayed visuals for ‘No Time To Die’. As her videos go, it’s less ambitious than some of her other releases, likely limited by having to feature clips from the film it soundtracks. But the musician is still able to shine, effortlessly holding your attention over the interjected shots of Daniel Craig spying and shagging his way around the world.
Clutching a retro mic with clawed nails, Eilish takes on the role of a modern-day torch singer, playing out the emotion in the song’s lyrics with intense gazes to the camera and natural, gently pained facial expressions. Shot in black-and-white, it’s cinematic and poised; as timeless as the song itself feels.
As the track reaches its climax – a heart-wrenching cry of “No time to die” – a graphic of smoke frames the star’s silhouette. It’s a fleeting moment of drama in an otherwise simple video, but suggests this is the moment where it all gets too much for the dejected singer and the pain erupts out of her. Still, not even that is enough to break her elegance, finishing the song with control and grace.