As one Oscars season comes to a close, another opens its doors anew. So begins the 2021 Best Original Song race, with this instant-classic title track for the upcoming James Bond film, No Time to Die, from 18-year-old professional Grammy collector Billie Eilish. Just last Sunday, Eilish made her Academy Awards debut singing a cover of the Beatles’ “Yesterday” for the ceremony’s In Memoriam segment. Those moody chords, written with her brother Finneas, are textbook Bond. (And if you close your eyes and listen closely, it kind of sounds like textbook haunting Lana Del Rey, too.) It’s got swelling horns, the wow-wow trumpet, cascading strings — adding some orchestral drama to Eilish’s typical electro-pop sound — and even a little of that iconic Bond theme sonic signature at the very end. Give it a spin here, and then remind yourself that Eilish was 4 years old when Daniel Craig made his debut as James Bond in Casino Royale. Eilish will perform “No Time to Die” for the first time at the upcoming Brit awards on February 18 with Hans Zimmer, who did the song’s orchestral arrangements with Matt Dunkley, and guitarist Johnny Marr.
In an interview with Zane Lowe, Eilish explained how she basically manifested the offer for the Bond theme with her brother and producer by talking for the past few years about how “dope” that opportunity would be. Then they got the offer, were shown pieces of the script, and put something together on their own before collaborating with Zimmer on the final product. Eilish says they were even able to stay involved with shaping the song over the course of it being completed, instead of just being pencil’s down after they first turned in the song. You might not have time to die, but make some time to listen to the new theme song.