Superstar singer Billie Eilish recently dropped two new tracks on her new mini-EP Guitar Songs. One of them is a song that she and her brother, Finneas, have already been performing on tour. She says doing so “was such a highlight for us” and that debuting her new song onstage fueled her eagerness to put out more new music.
“TV” highlights Billie’s voice rather than other musical sounds, trimming back the production layers of her previous albums. And the song’s lyrics talk about Billie’s desire to escape from her feelings and heartbreak over an ended relationship.
The most praiseworthy element of Billie’s song is her vulnerability. She is by no means easy on herself, going so far as to admit, “Maybe I’m the problem,” in a repeating outro. This could be considered self-deprecating, which can indicate deeper self-esteem and self-acceptance issues. That said, Eilish willingly admits her own struggles and considers where she may be wrong, which is an admirably humble attitude. Eilish also perhaps suggests that people are too caught up in superficial cultural stories, such as the Johnny Deep/Amber Heard trial.
The song opens with Eilish’s desire to escape into her television because of all the difficulties she is facing. She’s questioning the point of life, and she’s clearly at a low point: “All of my friends are missing again,” Eilish says, in part because she has devoted all her time to a relationship that fell apart. Eilish says people justify distancing themselves from friends when they are in a relationship because they are “in love.” She also mentions struggling with the temptation of falling into an eating disorder as well as wondering why people don’t seem to care more the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade.
Eilish’s allusion to the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade in the song may be a bit ambiguous. But her personal position on the matter certainly is not. She told Apple Music Today that the lyric was a “placeholder of doom” before the decision on the court case officially came out. Billie has spoken out against anti-abortion laws in the past, and it is not much of a stretch to imagine that she intended this song to as, at least in part, criticism of the recent Supreme Court ruling.
Apart from that lyrical concern, the balance of the song deals with the issues of suffering and broken relationships, at times feeling like it could be drifting into hopelessness and despair amid disappointment and struggle.