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“I don’t need a Xanny to feel better.” Ah, for the second time on the Music to Atone playlist, following “x ANA x” (Badflower), Xanax plays a key role in a song. In the case of the Badflower record, frontman Josh Katz needs Xanax for regulation purposes (“I need x, ANA, x / Help me bury my thoughts”).  For alternative-pop teen artist Billie Eilish, she has a different perspective, evidenced by the opening lyrical excerpt from the chorus.  “Xanny” is one of many highlights from her full-length debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. Here, Eilish sings about the adverse effects of drugs.  In Eilish’s eyes, drugs and substances aren’t worth it in the least. 

“Xanny” is a mysterious cut from the jump, thanks to the minimal production (brother, Finneas O’Connell) and perhaps most importantly, haunting vocals. Billie Eilish instantly makes her skeptical stance known as she references a party chocked-full of irresponsibility. “What is it about them / I must be missing something,” she sings on the first verse, continuing, “They just keep doing nothing / Too intoxicated to be scared.”  She isn’t focused specifically on the substance being used, but rather, the behavior people continue to indulge in. On the second verse, she sings about the aftermath: 

“…Nobody’s ever sorry
Too inebriated now to dance
Morning as they come down
Their pretty heads are hurting
They’re awfully bad at learning
Make the same mistakes, blame circumstance.” 

Billie Eilish has witnessed utter foolishness that’s definitely ‘atonable.’  While fellow partygoers make asses of themselves, she’s grounded and understands the senseless choices being made: “I’m in their second hand smoke / Still just drinking canned Coke.” Xanax slowed down Josh Katz on “x ANA x,” but Eilish doesn’t need/wants no part of any of it. The effects just aren’t worth it.

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About The Curator - Brent Faulkner

Brent Faulkner - Music to Curator

Slightly eccentric with interests that seem to know no ends, restless ‘Renaissance Man’ is the best way to characterize Brent Faulkner, a native of Kentucky.  A certified music educator, multi-instrumentalist, and composer known for his incredibly sharp ear, he lives and breathes music of a variety of styles.  In addition to passion for educating, performing, and writing music, he’s equally passionate blogging and writing about it, managing his own site, The Musical Hype ( When he’s not intensely analyzing music, you can find him reading or watching a movie, reality television or some sporting event.