Billie Eilish Is Keeping Things Secretive When It Comes To Her New Album – Here's Everything We Do Know

Hit Me Hard And Soft marks Billie's third full-length album, and she's doing things a little differently this time around.
Billie Eilish is releasing her new album Hit Me Hard And Soft later this week
Billie Eilish is releasing her new album Hit Me Hard And Soft later this week
William Drumm

Billie Eilish is gearing up to release her brand new album Hit Me Hard And Soft, and she’s really been keeping fans on their toes this time around.

The pop sensation’s third studio album is out this Friday (17 May), and marks a big change in release strategy for the Bad Guy singer, as she’s not releasing any singles or music videos before the album drops.

However, we do have a few clues to go off in the meantime to help manage our excitement until then – including potential themes, a few choice lyrics and even some song snippets.

Ahead of the release, here’s everything we know about Billie’s new album so far…

Billie got things off to an usual start when she first announced her new album Hit Me Hard And Soft

The Oscar winner started as she meant to go on with the announcement of Hit Me Hard And Soft, hinting at the release in a rather cryptic manner.

It all started when we all thought Billie had become our new bestie after adding all her followers to her “Close Friends” list on Instagram.

However, this was actually just a clever stunt to preview her brand new album art, which featured a close-up of her hand floating in a body of water.

We later discovered that the full cover features her sinking into a body of water beneath a door, which was shared as she officially announced the forthcoming album via Instagram on 8 April.

“So crazy to be writing this right now i’m nervyyyyy and exciteddd,” she captioned the post.

Billie added that she and her brother and co-producer Finneas “truly could not be more proud of this album and we absolutely can’t wait for you to hear it”.

What’s the story behind that striking album cover?

That’s not CGI on this cover – Billie really submerged herself in a pool for a very demanding photoshoot to get the shot.

“I was basically waterboarding myself for six hours straight,” the nine time Grammy-winner told Rolling Stone. “If I’m not suffering somehow, I don’t feel good about what I’m doing.”

According to the music megazine, Billie was held down by a large black weight attached to her shoulders, and submerged herself again and again for two minutes at a time during the photo-shoot, all while keeping her eyes open and holding her breath without a nose plug.

“If there’s one thing about me, it is I will put myself through hell and back for the shot,” she told the interviewer.

“I’ve always been like that, and I will continue to be like that. A lot of my artwork is painful physically in a lot of ways, and I love it. Oh, my God, I live for it.”

Billie Eilish performing in New York earlier this week
Billie Eilish performing in New York earlier this week
Noam Galai via Getty Images

The gloomy finished product definitely seems to match the vibe of the album, which will apparently see Billie return to the dark and menacing sound fans fell in love with on her debut When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Fortunately, it seems as though Billie thinks the physical demands of the shoot were worth it.

“I’ve never been in so much pain in my life. All for the shot,” Billie said. “That’s what they say about childbirth. It was like 12 hours of horrible, agonising pain for a lifetime of a great album cover. You know what I’m saying?”

What’s the meaning behind Billie Eilish’s new album title Hit Me Hard And Soft?

Apparently, Hit Me Hard And Soft came from a conversation Billie had with Finneas one day after she mistakenly thought it was the name of a synth in the Logic Pro music software.

“I thought it was such a perfect encapsulation of what this album does,” she told Rolling Stone.

“It’s an impossible request: You can’t be hit hard and soft. You can’t do anything hard and soft at the same time. I’m a pretty extremist person, and I really like when things are really intense physically, but I also love when things are very tender and sweet. I want two things at once.”

Billie added that she thought it was a “really good way to describe me, and I love that it’s not possible”.

Billie Eilish on stage at the Oscars in March
Billie Eilish on stage at the Oscars in March
Rich Polk via Getty Images

Are there any singles out?

Well, as soon as Billie announced the album, she dropped an even bigger bombshell – there would be no singles before the release.

“Not doing singles – I wanna give it to you all at once,” she teased in her announcement post.

Elaborating in her cover interview with Rolling Stone, the Swarm star said she’s actually not a fan of single releases in general, claiming: “Every single time an artist I love puts out a single without the context of the album, I’m just already prone to hating on it.

“I really don’t like when things are out of context.

“This album is like a family: I don’t want one little kid to be in the middle of the room alone,” Billie added.

Is there a tracklist?

Thankfully, yes. Billie didn’t leave us totally in the dark – and the tracklist is one thing she did share.

Skinny

Lunch

Chihiro

Birds Of A Feather

Wildflower

The Greatest

L’Amour De Ma Vie

The Diner

Bittersuite

Blue

What will Billie Eilish’s new album be about?

We’re not quite sure just yet, so your guess is really as good as ours. But in Billie’s recent cover interview with Rolling Stone, she explained that the album feels like it represents herself well.

Elaborating, she explained: “It’s not a character. It feels like the When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? version of me. It feels like my youth and who I was as a kid.”

We can also piece together some potential themes thanks to some very brief audio previews. At Coachella 2024, Billie performed a DJ set where she previewed three new songs called L’Amour De Ma Vie, Chihiro and Lunch.

Fans even managed to decipher some of the lyrics to Lunch, in which Billie sings: “I could eat that girl for lunch, yeah, she dances on my tongue, tastes like she might be the one, and I can never get enough, I could buy her so much stuff, it’s a craving, not a crush.”

The risqué lyrics are significant after the singer last year told Variety she was “attracted to [women] for real”, before addressing her sexuality with the publication again during a red carpet interview.

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone was also treated to an early listen of the album, describing Lunch in particular as “a complete 180 in both sound and subject content”, adding that it’s a “sexy, bass-heavy banger where Eilish is crushing on a girl so hard she likens sex with her to devouring a meal”.

What will Hit Me Hard And Soft sound like?

Billie Eilish on stage at the Grammys earlier this year
Billie Eilish on stage at the Grammys earlier this year
Kevin Winter via Getty Images

While fans have noted that it’s possible the snippets we’ve heard so far could very well be remixes, so we’re not even exactly sure what those might sound like, there is one song that’s already been teased.

In the week leading up to her album’s release, Billie previewed a snippet of the album cut Birds Of A Feather, in a new teaser clip for Heartstopper season three.

“I’ll love you till the day I die, till the day that I die” Billie sings on the upbeat, romantic track.

A press release also describes Hit Me Hard And Soft as Billie’s “most daring body of work to date” and “diverse yet cohesive collection of songs, ideally listened to in its entirety from beginning to end”.

It continued: “The album does exactly as the title suggests: hits you hard and soft both lyrically and sonically while bending genres and defying trends along the way. HIT ME HARD AND SOFT journeys through a vast and expansive audio landscape, immersing listeners into a full spectrum of emotions.”

Rolling Stone explained that Billie immerses herself “back into darkness” on this album, while also introducing some new sounds like “a string quartet to glittery dance-floor trance”. We can also expect some “full-throttle” belting here, compared to the quieter singing style with which many associate Billie.

The singer has also written the album (as she does all her music) with brother and collaborator Finneas, so we can be pretty confident his trademark production will be all over it.

Billie Eilish has once again teamed up with her brother and frequent collaborator Finneas
Billie Eilish has once again teamed up with her brother and frequent collaborator Finneas
Jason Armond via Getty Images

When is Hit Me Hard And Soft out, and what formats will be available?

Billie’s new album is out this Friday (17 May). If the album drops at midnight EST, that will be 5am BST on Friday morning. However, it’s worth noting that Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter dropped at midnight local time, so there’s a possibility the release time will differ by region.

Hit Me Hard And Soft will be available across all digital platforms, and physical formats in limited edition variants on the same day – all made from 100 per cent recyclable materials.

The vinyl formats are arriving at a topical time for the industry. Notably, Billie made headlines in April for criticising the “wasteful” nature of releasing albums in multiple physical formats to increase chart performance during a recent interview with Billboard.

Music fans quickly jumped to the conclusion that Billie was talking about Taylor Swift, who is known for releasing numerous vinyl variations of her albums, including this year’s The Tortured Poets Department.

However, Billie has since spoken out to clarify that her comments weren’t aimed at one musician in particular, insisting: “I wasn’t singling anyone out, these are industry-wide systemic issues and when it comes to variants, so many artists release them, including ME! Which I clearly state in the article.”

You can pre-order Billie Eilish’s Hit Me Hard And Soft here.

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