© 2022 KSUT Public Radio
KSUT-web-headerv2880R1.png
NPR News and Music Discovery for the Four Corners
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

At Last, Billie Eilish's James Bond Theme Song Is Here

Short of Lana Del Rey, it's hard to imagine a modern pop star better suited to James Bond themes than Billie Eilish — which is remarkable when you consider that Eilish herself was barely old enough to see the last Bond movie (2015's Spectre) in theaters, and that film was rated PG-13.

Now 18, Eilish presides over the latest Bond theme — "No Time to Die," from the forthcoming film of the same name — with the weary, knowing melancholy of a star twice her age. Written with her brother, Finneas, the song marks Eilish's first new material since she swept the top prizes at the 2020 Grammy Awards and performed at last weekend's Oscars.

Any proper James Bond song is bound to convey a sense of action, danger, drama and life-and-death intrigue, especially as the Daniel Craig-era Bond has leaned more heavily on the character's accumulated melancholy. Out Thursday evening, "No Time to Die" hits those notes with slow-burning, appropriately orchestral grandiosity — more akin to Adele's decorated "Skyfall" than Sam Smith's sleepy "Writing's on the Wall."

All of which is to say: Don't be surprised to see Eilish perform at next year's Oscars too.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
Related Stories