The Gayest Lyrics From Billie Eilish’s New Album ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’

Billie Eilish at the listening party for her new album Hit Me Hard and Soft

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for ABA

Billie Eilish‘s hot queer new album Hit Me Hard and Soft dropped today, and after streaming it on my walk to tennis this morning, I can confirm: IT’S VERY GAY. From the very first lyric of the album to the sapphic sex song “Lunch” (which, for the record, I’m ready to declare an early contender for gay song of the summer), the steamy and dreamy album is full of queer storytelling and marks the first body of work put out by Eilish since she started publicly talking about being in love with girls her entire life and wanting her face in a vagina.

Now, as I’ve only had time for a few listen-throughs so far, it’s safe to say I’m not doing the deepest textual analysis here. A lot of the lyrics are written in second person, addressed to a lover or ex, so there’s some openness to interpretation there, though regardless who she’s singing to, it’s automatically queer because she is. Who she’s singing to doesn’t change that! Also, I’m a pretty strong believer in persona when it comes to pop so while I think it’s valid to cross-compare lyrics against a singer’s actual life, it’s not always my default mode of lyrics analysis and I like to allow room for interpretations that go beyond the autobiographical.

So let’s dive into the gayest lyrics featured on Hit Me Hard and Soft, according to me, a gay longtime fan of Billie Eilish! I was able to apply a queer lens to lyrics from every single song, so here’s a track-by-track breakdown of the Hit Me Hard and Soft lyrics as well as some additional commentary for each song.


SKINNY

Fell in love for the first time
With a friend, it’s a good sign

These are the opening words of the opening track of Hit Me Hard and Soft, so we’re already starting off on a gay foot because falling in love with a friend? We know our community invented that.

On a serious note, I really love the narrative of self love in this song, which is complicated here and not just some empty self-affirmation, Billie honest and vulnerable about how public discourse around her age, appearance, etc. has impacted her perception of herself.

And you said I was your secret
And you didn’t get to keep it
And the internet is hungry for the meanest kinda funny
And somebody’s gotta feed it

I saw some interpretations of this being about Billie’s fans regarding her as a secret gem, but I’m choosing the more queer interpretation of this possibly being about a lover and subtly referencing Billie’s outing by the media.


LUNCH

I could eat that girl for lunch
Yeah, she dances on my tongue
Tastes like she might be the one
And I could never get enough

Soooooo I’m basically about to copy and paste most of the lyrics to this gay af song. Get ready!!!!! Like I said, gay song of the summer.

I could buy her so much stuff
It’s a craving, not a crush

I do need “it’s a craving, not a crush” merch ASAP. What a line! Also I love the simplicity of “I could buy her so much stuff.” Liking a girl really feels like that sometimes. You really could just buy her so much stuff.

Baby, I think you were made for me
Somebody write down the recipe

THIS GAY ASS SONG!!!!!

I’ll run a shower for you like you want
Clothеs on the counter for you, try ’em on
If I’m allowеd, I’ll help you take ’em off

Like truly no room for ambiguity or alternative interpretations here. This is a song about queer sex. I will be blasting it with my windows down while driving through central Florida for the foreseeable future.

Oh, I just wanna get her off

Brilliant gay post-chorus, no notes.

Tell her, “Bring that over here”
You need a seat? I’ll volunteer
Now she’s smilin’ ear to ear
She’s the headlights, I’m the deer

Billie really said yeah I’ll be your chair.

I’ve said it all before, but I’ll say it again
I’m interested in more than just bein’ your friend
I don’t wanna break it, just want it to bend
Do you know how to bend?

A gay bridge for the ages! Though I’ve long thought this, lunch is officially the gayest meal of the day thanks to this anthem.


CHIHIRO

They told me they were only curious
Now it’s serious

This whole song is inspired by Spirited Away which feels gay in and of itself. It has some breakup/end of a relationship vibes. I’m taking this line from the third verse to have some queer curiosity undertones.


BIRDS OF A FEATHER

Birds of a feather, we should stick together, I know
I said I’d never think I wasn’t better alone
Can’t change the weather, might not be forever
But if it’s forever, it’s even better

Here we get a super earnest love song, something I’m a sucker for! “Birds of a feather” implies some sort of sameness shared between the lovers. SAMENESS LIKE SAME-SEX LOVE? MAYBE SO.

I’ll love you ’til the day that I die
‘Til the day that I die
‘Til the light leaves my eyes
‘Til the day that I die

Romantic sincerity expressed dramatically in words associated with death and dying…also invented by our community.


WILDFLOWER

She was cryin’ on my shoulder
All I could do was hold her
Only made us closer until July
Now I know that you love me
You don’t need to remind me
I should put it all behind me, shouldn’t I?

This song seemingly has a love triangle situation going on, and I’m choosing to interpret it bisexually. It seemingly has a similar narrative to “Obsessed” by Olivia Rodrigo (also a gay song if you ask me), about obsessing over a current lover’s ex, albeit Billie’s version is told with more nuance and ache. The story here is also complicated by the fact that Billie comforted a girl going through a breakup and then got with her ex. Messy messy! But Billie doesn’t take on the sort of caustic, sneering, flippant attitude a lot of messy queer pop delivers right now and instead delivers something much more anguished and interesting.


THE GREATEST

All my love and patience
All my admiration
All the times I waited
For you to want me naked

This whole song is about giving way more in a relationship than one receives back. It’s giving lesbian bed death. “Sapphic yearning” songs often concern unrequited crushes, but here Billie gives us sapphic yearning from inside a relationship. Or, at least, that’s my interpretation!


L’AMOUR DE MA VIE

I wish you the best for the rest of your life
Felt sorry for you when I looked in your eyes
But I need to confess, I told you a lie
I said you
You were the love of my life
The love of my life

Oooo breakup song alert! There’s something so satisfying about “I wish you the best for the rest of your life” here. It’s technically a nice sentiment, but it also really hammers home the finality of the breakup, reminding the ex that this relationship is over for the rest of their life. Again, whereas a lot of recent queer pop strikes a very sharp and caustic, in-your-face tone about revenge and karma in the wake of a breakup, Billie opts for something quieter. In turn, it’s almost more brutal. Like this lyric: “I was the love of your life / But you were not mine” …DEVASTATING.

Also, it must be said, Billie Eilish has the best outros in the game.


THE DINER

Bet I could change your life
You could be my wife (Wife, wife)

Okay, I’m cheating a bit with this one. Yes, those lyrics when decontextualized seem simply gay. But this song is actually a lot more complex than initially meets the eye. It’s seemingly written from the point of view of one of Billie’s stalkers, a fascinating songwriting choice that ultimately gives Billie agency over her narrative while effectively crafting the horror of a stalker situation for the listener. It’s arguably much more terrifying than if she were to sing from her own point of view as the person being stalked, forcing us to be in her perspective by hearing the scary shit the stalker is saying directly LIKE THE ABOVE. Anyway, a standout song on a great album.


BITTERSUITE

I’ve been overseas
I’ve been havin dreams
You were in the foyer
I was on my knees
Outside of my body
Watchin from above
I see the way you want me
I wanna be the one

It’s too early to declare a hands down favorite track (and let’s be real, I’m probably gonna stick with “Lunch”), but “BITTERSUITE” is at least one of the most intriguing and musically ambitious tracks on the record, almost shapeshifting throughout but not in a way that makes the song feel disjointed. This is how it opens, with Billie imagining herself outside of her body seeing herself with a lover, seeing how much she’s wanted. The whole thing feels dripping with dreamy queer erotics. The song devolves into a metatext that references lyrics from previous songs, smashing them together to create something new. It’s extremely cool! And its penultimate placement on the album feels correct.


BLUE

I try to live in black and white, but I’m so blue
I’d like to mean it when I say I’m over you
But that’s still not true (blue)
And I’m still so blue

Here we have another song that refers back to lyrics from the tracks that precede it and to great effect. It’s another breakup song, this one a bit sadder tonally than “L’AMOUR DE MA VIE.”

Overall, this album is a queer wonder, lyrically and musically more complex than a lot of the queer pop out there right now, which I don’t mean as a dig toward other artists but rather just to emphasize that Billie has always felt like a rare gem in her genre. She’s sincere without being corny, and while her songs are often about messy situations, they’re not cynical or performatively chaotic. There’s just something real about her work, and that’s especially true for Hit Me Hard and Soft. I hesitate to say raw, as I feel that sometimes implies art that’s rough or unrefined in its craft but emotionally intense, but here we get both sides of that: work that’s rich with emotions but also really intentionally and carefully crafted, the intertextuality of the last two tracks demonstrating that wonderfully.

Hit Me Hard and Soft is available to stream now.

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 858 articles for us.

6 Comments

  1. It’s a fantastic album, with some outstanding lyrical and production artistry. I particularly love the flow of it and the interconnectedness. The way Blue refers back to both Birds of a Feather and Bittersuite, and even Billie’s longstanding association with blue. There’s something about the recurrence of the “overseas” references in Bittersuite and Blue that is suffused with such ennui.

  2. It sounds like you’re discussing an album that’s rich in thematic depth and intricate storytelling. The interconnectedness you mentioned adds layers to the listening experience, creating a cohesive narrative or emotional arc that resonates throughout the tracks. The way motifs like the color blue and references to “overseas” are woven throughout different songs can evoke a sense of longing, nostalgia, or perhaps a yearning for something just out of reach. It’s fascinating how artists can use these recurring themes and references to create a sense of continuity and resonance within their work. What album are you referring to?

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