Billie Eilish took over The Ellen DeGeneres Show stage and made it into a shallow body of water when she performed “when the party’s over.” It was simple and clean, beautiful and stirring. The dim lighting and somber piano betrayed a singer wiser than her 17 years, giving an emotional rendition of the track from her recently released debut studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.
It begins in a pool of rippling water that gyrates soft enough to put you to sleep. The camera zooms in on Eilish’s deadpan face and icy eyes. She’s one for the theatrical. Clad in angelic white, she sits in the middle of the stage in giant garments, softly singing “when the party’s over,” giving special care to the raspy tale of love’s final chapter. An isolated breath changes her white neon backdrop blood red, the rippling pools of water underneath her feet intensifying.
It’s a visceral, emotional experience, one that finds its piano strings contrasting with the jarring neon backdrop that can change at a moment’s notice. The water envelopes the stage. She’s sinking to despair without moving. The camera focuses on her wavering reflection as the performance ends.
In addition to “when the party’s over” (which she released an aesthetically astounding video for last year), her previously released tunes “bury a friend,” “wish you were gay,” and “bad guy” all appear on When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.