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LISTEN: Billie Eilish releases ‘No Time to Die,’ an understated James Bond theme

The multiple Grammy winner is the youngest artist ever to write and record a song for 007.

Billie Eilish performs at the Academy Awards on Feb. 9, 2020.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Continuing her rapid ascent toward world domination, Billie Eilish on Thursday released her new 007 theme song, which takes a mostly understated approach to the franchise known for bold, robust anthems.

“No Time to Die,” which shares the name of the upcoming James Bond film, begins in spare fashion, as Eilish sings almost a cappella in her trademark hushed vocals. The song builds to an impassioned, string-heavy middle until calming and then closing on a minor chord promising tense adventures to come.

The regretful lyrics are addressed to a lost lover, with a chorus stating, “Fool me once, fool me twice / Are you death or paradise? / Now you’ll never see me cry / There’s just no time to die.”

“No Time to Die” will be released April 10. Eilish’s first live performance of the theme is scheduled for the Brit awards on Tuesday, backed up by her brother and collaborator Finneas, arranger Hans Zimmer and former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr.

At 18, Eilish is the youngest artist ever to write and record a Bond theme.

“To be able to score the theme song to a film that is part of such a legendary series is a huge honor,” she said in a statement. “James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist. I’m still in shock.”

It’s the latest giant step of 2020 for Eilish, who in January won all of the top four Grammy Awards and last weekend performed “Yesterday” with Finneas as accompaniment to the In Memoriam segment of the Academy Awards, where she amused TV viewers with her blase reactions to the onstage antics.