We live in an age where technology enables people to cut corners in almost every industry, including the music industry. Many artists use autotune to enhance their music, but does this include Billie Eilish?
Many artists in the pop genre use autotune to enhance their music, and this includes Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell. Some of her tracks are furnished with a more natural tone, but she has definitely used autotune in some recent productions.
Read on to find out more about Eilish’s musical production and her use of autotune.
Sticking With The Crowd
These days, it seems everybody does it, regardless of genre, background or style. The prominent emergence of autotune over the last decade has caused some artists to appear on the scene who lack any natural ability, but can be remixed so that they sound world-class. It’s down to personal preference whether or not you think it sounds good, but it’s definitely a tool that’s going to be around… probably forever.
Billie Eilish and her music producer-slash-songwriter brother are no different. They’ve used autotune in a number of their tracks and albums in recent years, both subtly to enhance the listener’s experience, and with great gusto to create a completely different sound.
In an article-slash-review by The Ithacan, the author almost slams one particular track on a Billie Eilish album, titled Xanny. In their scathing criticism, they explain how the track bears traces of autotune that is “grating to the ears”, and finishes by simply branding it as “awkward autotune”.
However, this wasn’t the only instance of autotune causing potential issues for Eilish’s figures, as in 2019 she released a track called When I Was Older – again to some critical reviews. One online publication (The Fader) detailed this track as “an autotune-drenched murmur”. Not good.
A Woman Of Many Styles
Billie Eilish is well known for being exceptionally quirky. Everything from the way she dresses to how she sounds is outside of the ordinary, and provides her with a reputation for being eccentric. One thing that always stuns people however, is her natural-born singing ability. She has been singing since a young age, ever since she enrolled in the Los Angeles Children’s Choir and began developing her dulcet tones.
Over time, her styles wavered and adapted with every new release, it seemed. One song would have deeply emotional and powerful vocals, sung with a soprano pitch, while the next might have a rather ominous whispering tone. One of the best examples is the hugely popular hit ‘bad guy’, in which Eilish essentially speaks and whispers every word in the entire song.
There is of course footage online of Eilish singing in her natural voice, without any trace of editing or autotune. This is the case with many artists, some of whom are revealed to be talentless and tone deaf, and some who have the voice of an angel. It seems Billie Eilish falls into the latter category. You can see for yourself in the below YouTube video.
Industry Equals Unavoidable
As music progresses and becomes more competitive, autotune will exponentially increase in its usage around the world. Further, as the technology behind it becomes better, it may over time become a more natural edit, rather than an obvious amendment to what may have been an already beautiful base vocal.
Billie Eilish, along with her music producer brother Finneas O’Connell will undoubtedly employ the use of autotune again in future – it’s inevitable. The majority of the production process is done with computers and software these days, leaving the door wide open for edits of this kind. This is just a fact of the music industry and it’s one we have to live with, whether we like it or not.