Billie Eilish may only be 16, but it seems like she’s been around forever. A year after her big break into the music industry, Eilish has already established a clear brand of stripped-back, atmospheric pop that showcases her unique voice. This bare yet poignant sound reaches a melancholic peak on her recently released single “come out and play,” a song perfect for the holidays without any direct ties to the season. Listening to Eilish’s voice is like holding a hot cup of tea in front of the fire — it is comforting most of the time, but occasionally rises with a sharp pang of emotion, burning the listener with momentary glimpses into the singer’s darker thoughts. She is complex, but so is her art, offering her audience a way to understand the turmoil that seems to lay under Eilish’s languid exterior through her poetic lyrics and simple orchestrations.
“come out and play” clocks in at a typical pop single length of three minutes and 30 seconds, however, the song could easily go on for several more verses without losing the listener. Eilish merges the crackling spirit of the holidays with a solemn longing to produce the kind of mood that is found in only some winter songs, like “River” by Joni Mitchell and Luther Vandross’s “Every Christmas.” While Eilish is a newcomer compared to legends like Mitchell and Vandross, she displays the kind of soulful sorrow of an artist with legitimate talent that will last the test of time. The single’s simplicity and earnest narrative ring true to this talent, surprising anyone who takes the time to listen with an outstretched hand, asking them to leave their worries behind and come out to dance in the snow.