Bury a Friend

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"Bury a Friend"
Single by Billie Eilish
from the album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
ReleasedJanuary 30, 2019 (2019-01-30)
Billie Eilish singles chronology
"When I Was Older"
"Bury a Friend"
"Wish You Were Gay"
Music video
"Bury a Friend" on YouTube

"Bury a Friend" (stylized in all lowercase) is a song by American singer Billie Eilish. The song was released on January 30, 2019, through Darkroom and Interscope Records. The song serves as the third single for Eilish's debut studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019). The music video, directed by Michael Chaves, accompanied its release.[3][4]


The title of the album appears as a line in the song. Eilish credits "Bury a Friend" as the main inspiration for its parent album, stating that "the entire album clicked" in her head when the song was created, and added that she "immediately knew what it was going to be about, what the visuals were going to be, and everything in terms of how [she] wanted it to be perceived. It inspired what the album is about."[5]

British rapper Crooks makes an appearance on the track and music video.[6] Eilish discovered the artist on social media; Crooks repeatedly tagged pictures of himself with the caption "Where's Billie at?" on her Instagram comments, prompting her to think "Who the F is this kid?" She decided to make his acquaintance and found him "super funny and ... kind of cute" and the two soon became best friends.[7]


"Bury a Friend" has been described as a minimalist electronica[1] and industrial song.[2] According to sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Universal Music Publishing Group, "Bury a Friend" is set in common time with a "moderately fast" tempo of 120 beats per minute. The song is composed in the key of G minor, with Eilish's vocals ranging between the notes of F#3 and B♭4.[8] The tracks opens with Crooks saying "Billie" before Eilish begins singing, her voice affected by a Vocoder, over a taut, muffled beat reminiscent of "Rock and Roll" by Gary Glitter, a vocal line similar to "People Are Strange" by The Doors, and scattered synth melodies.[9][6][10] Lyrically, the track is written from "the perspective of the monster under [Eilish's] bed" and explores what "this creature [is] doing or feeling."[11]


On January 29, 2019, Eilish formally announced her debut album titled When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? and also revealed that she would release a single the next day at 9 AM Pacific Time Zone. She further posted a 16-second teaser featuring her singing while being grabbed and pushed by gloved hands.[12][13] It was released on the scheduled date, having premiered on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show as the day's World Record.[14] Eilish also made an appearance on Annie Mac's Future Sounds show on BBC Radio 1 and discussed the track, which was Mac's "Hottest Record" of the day.[15] It was serviced to alternative radio on February 19, 2019.[16] On March 28, 2019, in promotion of her debut album, Eilish performed a haunting performance of "Bury a Friend" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

Critical reception[edit]

Consequence of Sound named "Bury a Friend" the best song of the week, calling it "the perfect combination of spooky and caring" and added that "Eilish's truly masterful feat here ... is her wedding of the superficially repellent and the innately appealing, the scary and the loved."[17] Thomas Smith of NME praised it as "a statement song from an artist who is currently tearing up the rulebook of what young fans want from their pop stars" and further stated that "Billie is looking inwards and vocalising the uncertainties and inquisitions of a generation ready to make their mark."[6] He later named the track Eilish's best and further compared it favorably to Lorde's 2013 song "Royals".[10] DIY called the track "as throbbing, sparse and industrial as you're likely to find from a high profile major label concern" and "intoxicating and intriguing."[2] Chloe Gilke of Uproxx hailed "Bury a Friend" as Eilish's best single and stated that it "proves that the millions of young people who are obsessed with her atmospheric, weirdo pop know what they're talking about."[18] The Music Network called the track "a devilish masterpiece" and added that "The song is unsettling ... but there's something tranquil and thoughtful about it."[19]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Bury a Friend" debuted at number 74 on the US Billboard Hot 100 before moving to number 14 with 29.1 million streams and 18,000 downloads sold in its first full week of tracking, becoming Eilish's highest peak on the chart at the time.[20][21] In the United Kingdom, the song debuted at number 7, making it her first top 10 track in the country,[22] and debuted at number 2 in Ireland with 2,000 combined sales behind Ariana Grande's "7 Rings".[23]

Music video[edit]

An accompanying music video for "Bury a Friend" was directed by Michael Chaves and shot in one day. It was released on January 30, 2019 on Eilish's YouTube channel.[24][25] In an interview with Annie Mac of BBC Radio 1, Eilish explained that the video was inspired by her love of "being scared", prompting her to incorporate common phobias, such as the fear of injections and of being manhandled, in it.[26] The video begins with Crooks waking up suddenly at night. He lies down again and says "Billie." The camera then moves under his bed where Eilish sings the song's chorus. The rest of the video features intercut scenes of her levitating or walking in corridors, being grabbed and manhandled by gloved, bodiless hands, having syringes inserted in her back and singing under or next to Crooks' bed.[24] The video attracted attention for its elements of horror and has been described as "creepy" by Rolling Stone and Complex.[1][5] The visual has also been compared to The Haunting's first season The Haunting of Hill House, and Jordan Peele's 2017 film Get Out.[27]


Credits adapted from Tidal.[28]


Chart (2019) Peak
Argentina (Argentina Hot 100)[29] 85
Australia (ARIA)[30] 3
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[31] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[32] 13
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[33] 42
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[34] 10
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[35] 3
Denmark (Tracklisten)[36] 8
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[37] 4
France (SNEP)[38] 82
Germany (Official German Charts)[39] 14
Hungary (Single Top 40)[40] 10
Hungary (Stream Top 40)[41] 2
Ireland (IRMA)[42] 2
Israel (Media Forest TV Airplay)[43] 1
Italy (FIMI)[44] 27
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[45] 46
Malaysia (RIM)[46] 12
Mexico Ingles Airplay (Billboard)[47] 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[48] 29
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[49] 10
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[50] 2
Norway (VG-lista)[51] 2
Portugal (AFP)[52] 8
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[53] 18
Singapore (RIAS)[54] 10
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[55] 2
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[56] 26
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[57] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[58] 10
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[22] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[59] 14
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[60] 1


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[61] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[62] Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[63] 2× Platinum 160,000^
Italy (FIMI)[64] Gold 25,000double-dagger
New Zealand (RMNZ)[65] Platinum 30,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[66] Gold 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[67] Silver 200,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone


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  38. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Singles (téléchargement + streaming) – SNEP (Week 9, 2019)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  39. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Billie Eilish – Bury a Friend". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  40. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
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  47. ^ "Mexico Ingles Airplay". Billboard. March 2, 2019. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
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  50. ^ "Charts.nz – Billie Eilish – Bury a Friend". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  51. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Billie Eilish – Bury a Friend". VG-lista. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  52. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Billie Eilish – Bury a Friend". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  53. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  54. ^ "Singapore Top 30 Digital Streaming Chart Week 7" (PDF). Recording Industry Association (Singapore). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 25, 2019.
  55. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Select SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 201906 into search. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
  56. ^ "Top 100 Canciones: Semana 6". Productores de Música de España. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  57. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Billie Eilish – Bury a Friend". Singles Top 100. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  58. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Billie Eilish – Bury a Friend". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
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  62. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Billie Eilish – Bury a Friend" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved May 21, 2019. Enter Billie Eilish in the field Interpret. Enter Bury a Friend in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen. 
  63. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Billie Eilish – Bury a Friend". Music Canada. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  64. ^ "Italian single certifications – Billie Eilish – Bury a Friend" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved April 15, 2019. Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Bury a Friend" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  65. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Billie Eilish – Bury a Friend". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  66. ^ "Bury a Friend – Billie Eilish". Productores de Música de España. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  67. ^ "British single certifications – Billie Eilish – Bury a Friend". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 29, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Bury a Friend in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]