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Billie Eilish releases new album centred on love

Ellie IorizzoPress Association
Billie Eilish's third studio album Hit Me Hard And Soft has been released. (AP PHOTO)
Camera IconBillie Eilish's third studio album Hit Me Hard And Soft has been released. (AP PHOTO) Credit: AP

US star Billie Eilish has released her bold new third studio album titled Hit Me Hard And Soft.

The theme of the album - while similar to her previous two in criticising toxic beauty standards, the pressures of global stardom, and ruthless online commentary - is an outlier in that it is centred around love and its accompanying heartbreak.

Eilish, who did not release any singles in advance, planned for the album to be listened to chronologically so it "hits you hard and soft both lyrically and sonically, while bending genres and defying trends along the way", her website said on Friday.

The 22-year-old exhibits mostly subdued vocals across the album, contrasted with track Lunch featuring a funk beat with lyrics about a lust for a lesbian partner.

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While the fourth track on the record titled Birds Of A Feather is focused around romantic infatuation.

The song was teased ahead of the album's release during the trailer for hit Netflix LGBTQI series Heartstopper, about the romance between rugby player Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) and unpopular Charlie Spring (Joe Locke).

Unrequited love is the theme of sixth track The Greatest, which builds into a longing power ballad.

Eilish previously said shooting the cover for her album left her in the worse pain of her life, as she was on her back underwater with a door open above her held down with a weight.

The album cover was created a few days after her Grammy song of the year win for Barbie hit What Was I Made For?.

The song also earned Eilish an Oscar for best original song this year, alongside brother Finneas O'Connell, having scooped their first Academy Award in 2022 for their James Bond track No Time To Die.

Her debut record When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was released in 2019, while the follow-up titled Happier Than Ever was released in 2021.

Eilish, known for her advocacy of environmental causes, previously said she will limit the amount of vinyl records she releases for her new album.

Her website said the standard black variant is made from 100 per cent recycled materials, while the rest use Eco-Mix or BioVinyl.

In April, Eilish announced a new tour in support of the album, with dates in Australia scheduled for February 2025.

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