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Billie Eilish’s new song ‘Therefore I Am’ is an existential banger

It took just three words for René Descartes to rock the world of Western philosophy back in 1637: “Cogito ergo sum”. Or, as per the English translation: “I think therefore I am.” To have doubt and awareness of one’s thoughts – and to critique and acknowledge them – is to prove existence and thinking. Or, er, something like that.

Nearly 400 years later, Billie Eilish disrupted the world of music with just one exclamation: ‘Bad Guy’s apathetic, iconic “Duh!” While perhaps not quite as revelatory (but certainly more succinct), it certainly unlocked a new timeline for everything that followed; proof that weird, homemade pop couldn’t just hang with the best of them, but beat them, too.

New standalone single ‘Therefore I Am’ is a bruising statement that picks up where 2018’s ‘Copycat’ and ‘You Should See Me In A Crown’ left off. At that time, Eilish felt slighted by the impersonators, in the former claiming that the pretenders were merely in italics, while Billie “in bold”. Low-key brutal. Everyone wanted more than just a piece of her, but to wholesale pinch her style. On ‘Therefore I Am’, she’s had enough of that shit.

‘Therefore I Am’ shares DNA with the laid-back funk of her 2019 debut album’s (the staggering ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’) ‘All The Good Girls Go To Hell’ and ‘My Strange Addiction’, sharing the same glitchy beats and rhythm, but there’s more playfulness this time around.

Built upon a sturdy bassline – one that’s less confrontational than anything on that debut – the song sees her separate herself from the coattail-riders, dismissing them with a string of cutting ripostes. And main refrain is perhaps her catchiest choruses to date: “I’m not your friend or anything / Damn, you think that you’re the man / I think therefore I am.”

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