Today’s Song: Billie Eilish’s Flippant New Single “Therefore I Am”

Billie Eilish © 2020
Billie Eilish © 2020
Billie Eilish’s newest single “Therefore I Am” is a winking nod and a middle finger to her critics, mixing the more sinister sounds of her debut with an airiness and apathy that suits the present moment.
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Stream: “Therefore I Am” – Billie Eilish

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Billie Eilish has made headlines twice in the past couple months, but not for anything she did. Rather, there was a laughable piece of intel from the Trump campaign that turned out to be a misquote, and yet another nobody on Twitter bodyshaming the teen for wearing a tank top instead of her typical baggy uniform — the subtext being, “How dare she let me see that she has a normal body?” Eilish, known for bucking the conventions of pop stardom and speaking out against those who criticize her every move, never responded directly to the troll, instead sharing a video from YouTuber Chizi Duru, who talks about “normalizing real bodies.”

Therefore I Am - Billie Eilish
Therefore I Am – Billie Eilish

Eilish’s newest single to come out of quarantine, “Therefore I Am,” (released November 13, 2020 via Interscope Records) seems to be a winking nod to her detractors, all of whom garner a disproportionate amount of attention for their snide remarks and attention-seeking behavior. The song is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the sweetly crooned “my future,” which found Eilish in a meditative swirl of dreams for the future. “Therefore I Am” is a return to the When We All Fall Asleep… era, with a stark, hard-hitting beat and a melody that borders on the edge of spooky. Eilish whispers threats and rhythmically mumble raps about philosophy, all while exuding her classic glaring swagger. Not only that, but it’s Eilish at her most delectably flippant:

I’m not your friend
Or anything, damn
You think that you’re the man
I think, therefore, I am

The famed philosophical phrase from Descartes functions in multiple ways. The origins of the quote have to do with the nature of doubt, and how Descartes believed that we cannot doubt our own existence as we doubt — I think about my own existence, therefore I exist. In the context of Eilish’s song, it’s a firm stance: “I exist.” No matter what doubt her critics’ words instill in her, she exists. Coupled with the previous line, the implication becomes, “I am, you’re not.” In other words, it’s a “talk to the hand” brushoff. In the first verse, she brings yet another philosophical idea into play: the Platonic ideal. “Your world’s an ideal,” she says to her haters.

Billie Eilish © 2020
Billie Eilish © 2020

So go have fun
I really couldn’t care less
And you can give ’em my best, but just know

Eilish’s flippancy is punctuated by the song’s delightful accompanying video. Directed by Eilish herself, the video was filmed in one night on an iPhone in an empty mall. Eilish dances and runs around the white corridors, swiping pretzels, donuts, and other mall snacks at her leisure. It’s funny, it’s clever, and it’s the perfect dismissal. If our world is an ideal, it’s only because Billie Eilish exists.

Stream: “Therefore I Am” – Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish Leads Us to Self-Love with Intimate Single “my future”


A Review of Billie Eilish’s ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’


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Therefore I Am - Billie Eilish

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