In the meantime, Del Rey keeps dropping tracks from the album. Today’s track is the fourth, although it is a live performance, not a studio recording. It was actually released back in October, after she performed it at an Apple event with Jack Antonoff on piano, but I missed it until now.
‘Bellyache’ is written from the perspective of a murderer who seems to be regretting her actions. Eilish has said the lyrics are a metaphor for anytime we do something for reasons we can’t entirely explain.
‘Ocean Eyes’ was her breakthrough track, in that it took her from complete anonymity to viral success and a recording contract. This dreamy ballad was written by her brother Finneas O’Connell for his band (the members of which must hate him now). Eilish recorded it to serve as the soundtrack for a dance routine she was preparing for school. She was 14 years old.
My older daughter Sophia credits me with exposing her to many of the musicians and songs she loves. But the feeling is mutual. I have encountered plenty of great music through her suggestions, or by hearing the songs drifting out of her bedroom or soundtracking her Instagram stories.
A great example is Billie Eilish, whom Sophia first started listening to a couple of years ago before the release of the Don’t Smile at Me EP. She particularly loved the song ‘Bellyache,’ which I was convinced I had already included on the blog, but apparently not. I’ll do that soon.
When rapper Nipsey Hussle was murdered last week, shot outside his Los Angeles clothing store, several of my Facebook friends were distraught. A lot of celebrities I follow on Instagram were similarly shaken, posting moving tributes to a man whose music and message had moved them.
All of those people are younger and blacker than me, and I’ve never been much of a rap fan, so I guess it’s no surprise that I live in a different world, one where I had never heard the name Nipsey Hussle until this tragic incident.
This song mixes a blues guitar riff with hip-hop beats, rapped lyrics and a Spanish-language chorus, and emerges as something wholly unique. Or at least as unique as everything else on Odelay, which is full of sonic mind-fucks like this.
Mitchell released this song on her 1970 album Ladies of the Canyon, a few years after it had already shown up on albums by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Tom Rush.