Spotify’s release party for Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” album marks the slow return of events in Los Angeles and it did not disappoint as guests were transported to the cinematic world of the singer’s sophomore album — complete with immersive installations, insight into Eilish’s creative process and of course, a gaggle of celebrities.
Olivia Rodrigo, Ben Platt, Eric Andre, Jaden and Willow Smith, Khalid, Will.i.am and Dove Cameron were among those in attendance to support Eilish at the 1950s Beverly Hills estate, which featured a three-tiered patio overlooking a cerulean pool surrounded by dolphin-shaped fountains. All guests were required to take a rapid COVID-19 test at the Beverly Hilton Hotel before being handed a card containing the estate’s address.
The night carried a Gatsby-like air, as staff wearing pink and blue rompers welcomed guests at every turn, some even holding blue-and-white striped towels embroidered with the album’s name. The estate was outfitted with several different installations that allowed guests to experience the album in different ways — Billie Mode was a retro bedroom with pink velvet couches and classic TVs playing footage of Eilish; Lyric Mode was centered at the extravagant pool, around which lyrics to songs “Halley’s Comet,” “Everybody Dies” and “Male Fantasy” were scattered; and Fan Mode allowed guests to write notes to Eilish in a luscious garden.
The installations were a nod to Spotify’s first-ever artist hub, titled “Happier: The Destination.” Through the platform, fans can now replicate the experience of the release party by accessing exclusive content in three forms: Billie Mode, Lyric Mode and Fan Mode. Each mode includes exclusive interviews with Eilish, as she takes fans through her journey of making “Happier Than Ever.”
Other notable touches to the party included a palm tree fully painted blue, a classic white Thunderbird, a Koi pond that guests walked over using red bridges and an Impossible burger food truck with Eilish’s face on its side. But of course, the true star of the night was Eilish herself, who wore a red corset top underneath a black button down and leather pants with countless tassels. Throughout the night, Eilish stuck close by her rumored boyfriend, Matthew Tyler Vorce, a few friends and her brother and collaborator, Finneas, who was accompanied by his girlfriend, actor and influencer Claudia Sulewski.
As the clock struck nine, or midnight on the east coast, the time of the album’s official release, Eilish made her way from the pool level of the backyard to the second balcony to toast the arrival of “Happier Than Ever” — and to celebrate Finneas, whose birthday falls on July 30. “This album is my favorite thing that I’ve ever created,” Eilish said as the crowd cheered. “It was such a cathartic, and freeing, and satisfying, and fulfilling process. Finneas, wherever you are out here, thank you for being my brother and my best friend in the world, I love you so dearly and I’m fucking so stoked.”
After the crowd broke out into an impromptu rendition of the “Happy Birthday Song” in honor of Finneas, the entirety of “Happier Than Ever” played through the estate’s speakers. The collection is much more subdued compared to Eilish’s debut, but reflects a new maturity that shows Eilish truly coming into her own as an artist. As Variety‘s Chris Willman wrote in his review: “Her second full-length album hits a sweet spot where the mixed emotions and occasionally self-contradicting feelings about love and fame seem to spill out in real-time.”
Perhaps because it seemed oh-so-inviting (and what else were they going to do with those towels?), the night ended with Eilish and three friends jumping into the property’s pool, fully clothed. You couldn’t help but smile to see Eilish, who appears to take herself much more seriously than most 19-year-olds, swimming and splashing around while singing along to her own songs. As her child-like laugh carried throughout the party, Eilish genuinely seemed happier than ever.