- READ MORE: Billie Eilish – ‘Happier Than Ever’ review: an artist secures her status as a generational great
In an interview with Rolling Stone to promote his own new album, ‘Optimist’, the Los Angeles multi-hyphenate said he and Eilish were “really excited to start working on” the latter’s third album. When asked how far along they’d made it into the creative process, O’Connell said they had “interesting skeletons” for songs written, but were “not sure what animals they are”.
“We’ve got the net in the ocean, and we’re picking up detritus,” he told the publication. “And then you sift through all that, and you pick out the treasure, and then you have an album. I’m really excited. I think we’ve got a lot to say.”
Eilish’s second album, ‘Happier Than Ever’, landed back in July. In addition to its title track, the album was supported by singles ‘My Future’, ‘Therefore I Am’, ‘Your Power’, ‘Lost Cause’, ‘NDA’ and ‘Male Fantasy’.
NME gave ‘Happier Than Ever’ a five-star review, saying it “fully establishes Billie Eilish as one of her generation’s most significant pop artists – and, better still, does so without repeating a single trick from the debut that turned her life upside down“.
Quashing any potential rumours that her third album could arrive next year, O’Connell noted that even if he and Eilish were able to complete the record in time for the forthcoming ‘Happier Than Ever’ world tour – which will kick off in February – it wouldn’t be released until long after they wrap it up.
“This tour is this album,” he told Rolling Stone. “We’ve played some festivals, but we haven’t done Billie headliner solo shows, and we’re really excited to play Happier Than Ever on the road. So even if it’s in the can by February, we’ll [delay it] for a little bit. Because I like letting projects breathe…
“You don’t want to step on the toes of an album like that. You make your stuff mean less, I think, when you do that.”
Eilish and O’Connell will take ‘Happier Than Ever’ – which just earned a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year – on the road all throughout 2022. They’ll be playing shows across North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, with six shows set for the O2 in London.
Eilish recently made history as the youngest-ever person to win PETA’s Person of the Year award. The 19-year-old was nominated for her animal rights advocacy, including getting designer Oscar de la Renta to commit to going fur-free – a moment Eilish recently described as a career highlight.
Tomorrow (December 11), Eilish will perform double duty on this week’s episode of Saturday Night Live, marking her debut as host as well as performing.
NME gave ‘Optimist’ a four-star review, with Rhian Daly calling it “an accomplished first album that really shines” and praising it for delivering both “classic, timeless pop songwriting and something more modern and cutting-edge”.