While we wait eagerly for Billie Eilish to drop her debut full-length album, she fed us a steady diet of new singles in 2018 in the forms of "when the party's over," "Come Out and Play" and the Khalid-assisted "Lovely." Though we're still unsure when we'll be able to hear that highly anticipated freshman effort, the 16-year-old alt-pop star gifted us with another chilling new song on Wednesday (January 9).
"When I Was Older" is a track that will be featured on the upcoming Music Inspired By Roma album, which will included a collection of songs inspired by the Golden Globe-winning foreign-language film, curated by the movie's director Alfonso Cuarón.
The haunting song was written by Eilish and her long-time collaborator/older brother Finneas O'Connor. The line “When I was older I used to be a sailor, but I drowned in a storm,” spoken by Pepe (played by Marco Graf), inspired the siblings to write the song and give it its title.
“When we were composing the song, we wanted to write from within the narrative of the movie and the scenes that struck us the most from it,” the siblings revealed in a statement. “Having access to the sounds used in the film proved to be invaluable to help us convey this. Lines like 'memories burn like a forest fire' are accompanied by the sounds of the trees burning in the woods outside the house. The chorus has the ocean sounds overplayed on it. We were also able to take sounds like the student protest shouts and Borras barking and turn them into rhythmic percussive elements to help drive the song. Nothing about this song would exist without the film, which is exactly what we love about it.”
Listen to the mesmerizing "When I Was Older" below.