Billie Eilish Breaks Down The Narcoleptic 'Xanny': 'I Wanted It To Feel Miserable'

MTV's PUSH artist explains, 'I don't want to sound predictable, ever'

Honestly, was there even another option for MTV's PUSH artist this month? Everything is coming up Billie Eilish these days — her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? arrived last week to prove the hype surrounding her is 100 percent real. She's been dubbed "the future" and "pop's new conscience," and on Asleep, we witness the revolution play out over 14 exciting, trendsetting, genre-bending tracks. Eilish isn't just on the cutting edge; she's the knife.

On Asleep, sandwiched between the bangers "bad guy" and "you should see me in a crown" is "xanny," a fuzzy, jazzy ballad about the lonely struggle of shrugging off drugs. "I'm in their secondhand smoke / Still just drinking canned Coke / I don't need a Xanny to feel better," she sings. The "sexy, smooth" verses take their cues from Frank Sinatra and Feist, Eilish told MTV, but that bone-rattling, ear-splitting bass in the chorus? It's supposed to make you uncomfortable.

"If you're just sitting in a room and you listen to this song, the chorus kind of, like, throws itself at you. Like 'I'm in their secondhand smoke,'" Eilish said of the "crazy, distorted, broken-sounding bass." She added, "I just wanted it to sound the way that it feels to breathe in recycled breath. Recycled, poisonous breath, I may add. I just wanted it to feel miserable."

While fans have no doubt attempted to dissect the intricacies of "xanny," the 17-year-old insists that she wanted to keep the lyrics purposefully vague. It's all part of her mission to make the unexpected: "I just don't want to sound predictable, ever," she explained.

"A lot of this album I really want to be up for interpretation, because I will say, every single line in that song has a certain meaning to me," she said. "There's so many lines that sound like something else, or they mean what they don't mean, and they don't mean what they mean. And I just like the idea that people aren't gonna know what it's about. Or people are. Or they're gonna have a complete different idea. It's up to you to decide."

Check out Eilish's intimate performance of "xanny" below, and see more exclusive PUSH content right here.

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