Billie Eilish Explains ‘Happier Than Ever’ Album Concept Is Both ‘Sarcastic’ and ‘the Truth’

Happier Than Ever is the name of Billie Eilish‘s sophomore album. At first glance, for fans who are familiar with the “Bad Guy” singer, the title may come off as snide or ironic. And Eilish confirms that it is… but also, it’s not. She also actually is, at this point in her life, happier than ever.

Billie Eilish accepts the Video for Good award for 'Your Power' onstage during the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on September 12, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. She waves and smiles into the audience.
Billie Eilish | Theo Wargo/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS

Billie Eilish has been working on ‘Happier Than Ever’ since 2019

Eilish and her brother Finneas Baird O’Connell worked on Happier Than Ever a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic. But they started working on the album back in 2019.

Happier Than Ever is kind of a lot of things,” Eilish told Stormzy in an interview for Vice. “The title track was originally a song called ‘Away From Me.’ It was the first thing we did. We’ve been writing the album since summer 2019 and this was the only thing from the beginning that we worked on that stuck. On the first album, all of those songs were three or four years old by the time they were recorded, but these were all new songs. ‘Happier Than Ever,’ the song, is the oldest one. It was written first in summer 2019 and then the next summer we finished it. And I knew from the beginning that it was a really important song for me.”

How Billie Eilish landed on the album name, ‘Happier Than Ever’

Once Eilish grasped how important the song “Happier Than Ever” was to her, it was easy to build an album around the concept.

“When you’re making an album, there’s always a moment when it clicks in your head and you realise where it’s meant to go, what it’s meant to feel like, what it’s going to say,” she said. “You have all these songs and you’re trying to work out the order of them and how they work together and how they can coexist.”

The concept of being happier than ever spoke to the “Oxytocin” singer on a few different levels.

Happier Than Ever just felt like such a perfect encapsulation of the last few years of my life,” she said. “It has so many meanings, it’s a bit sarcastic but it’s also the truth, and it doesn’t mean happier than you’re ever going to be, or happier than anyone else, it just means happier than before. It means doing better. And I think that’s my life the last few years. I’m growing up, changing, getting better as a person, getting better mentally and creatively. It seemed perfect.”

Why the ‘Bad Guy’ singer has ‘been ignoring’ the success of the album


Billie Eilish Won the Video For Good Award for Her Song ‘Your Power’

One of the reasons Eilish has been “happier than ever” is she’s been spending less time on social media lately. She used to read every single comment written about her on the internet. Now, she’s put in place some major boundaries. Those boundaries led Eilish to remain unaware of the success of her second album. When Eilish was interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter on Aug. 30, Happier Than Ever was continuing its No. 1 streak on the Billboard charts. But the “Getting Older” singer wasn’t aware.

“I don’t really know how well it’s doing,” she said. “I really don’t. People keep asking, ‘So, how do you feel about how well your album is doing?’ I’m like, ‘It is?’ I know that that’s stupid because it’s like, ‘Well, pay attention.’ But it’s scary out there — scary and mean — and I don’t want to see it. I’ve been trying to not look. But I love to hear any of the things that people have to say, good things. What I have heard has been amazing and just have made my life. I’m over the moon happy that this album has done what I wanted it to do, mostly.”