Billie Eilish released new music on Friday: the theme song for the forthcoming James Bond film No Time To Die. Out in April, it’ll be Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007.
Undoubtedly, choosing Billie Eilish to sing the theme was a calculated move by the aging franchise to appeal to a youthful audience. As of the Grammys, where Eilish swept the four major categories, Bond is also gaining a bonafide superstar.
The new track for No Time To Die is slow, moody and ponderous. It’s also a really skillful melding of opposing aesthetics: there’s Daniel Craig’s depiction of Bond as a tortured loner beneath a chilled, masculine exterior. And there’s Eilish’s whispered bedroom confessionals.
The lyrics are a meditation on duplicitous love and individualism:
“Another lesson yet to learn / That I’d fallen for a lie / You were never on my side / Fool me once, fool me twice / Are you death or paradise? / Now you’ll never see me cry / There’s just no time to die.”
As The Guardian’s critic Alexis Petridis pointed out, there’s a “tendency for vocalists tackling a Bond theme is to belt it out, as if in homage to the most famous Bond singer of the lot: Shirley Bassey.” But Eilish’s theme is quiet. She opts for her trademark close-mic approach and draws out the delivery, leaving space for the music to swell, peppered with instrumental references to Bond themes of yore at opportune points. I can almost picture the title montage already.