Billie Eilish’s No Time To Die title track is a fitting farewell to Daniel Craig’s James Bond era, a 007 music historian has said.
Eilish, the 18-year-old pop wunderkind, released her much-anticipated song on Friday and revealed a brooding, sombre ballad complete with her trademark whispering singing voice.
It proved to be an immediate hit with critics and fans, shrugging off concerns she was too young to take on one of the most sought-after jobs in music.
Eilish’s track accompanies 51-year-old Craig’s fifth and final outing as 007, an era darker and edgier than those before.
Jon Burlingame, author of The Music Of James Bond, said No Time To Die was typical of Eilish’s sound and a fitting companion to Craig’s swansong.
“It’s moody, it’s kind of dark. The lyrics are filled with regret and speak of betrayal, and all of that plays into the current Bond mystique, the Daniel Craig era of Bond,” he told the PA news agency.
“That works for a contemporary Bond audience”.
Fans immediately speculated the song’s lyrics confirmed the theory No Time To Die’s plot would feature Craig’s secret agent being betrayed by Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann, his love interest from Spectre, the previous film.
“Was I stupid to love you? Was I reckless to help? Was it obvious to everybody else?” Eilish sings, over haunting piano music.
However Mr Burlingame, a leading TV and film music writer based in Los Angeles, believes the lyrics are vague enough to leave fans guessing.
“There are very few hints in the song about the story of the picture,” he said.
“You can’t really tell who the song is about. Is it Bond speaking? Or is it Bond’s latest lover? We don’t know.
“And the mystery of that is effective and probably appropriate. There’re no real hints about the story and what we’re about to see.”
He added: “It’s basically just a fun pop song that specifically speaks about Bond.”
Eilish is one of the hottest properties in music. She swept the four big categories at the Grammy Awards last month and performed a cover of the Beatles’ Yesterday during the In Memoriam section of Sunday’s Oscars.
And she may be returning to the Academy Awards next year, with Mr Burlingame saying she has a strong chance of earning a best original song nomination.
“It’s too early to say if it’s going to happen but she’s so huge, I find it hard to believe they’d pass her up for a nomination,” he said.
If Eilish was to take home the golden statuette, it would complete an unprecedented hat-trick of Oscar wins for Bond films, after Adele won in 2012 for Skyfall and Sam Smith won in 2015 for the Spectre theme.