Billie Eilish released a moody new ballad, “When I Was Older,” which was inspired by the Golden Globe-winning Netflix film Roma. The song will feature in an upcoming collection of “inspired by” tracks curated by the film’s director Alfonso Cuarón. The song’s titled is lifted from a piece of dialogue spoken by the character Pepe in Roma, “When I was older I used to be a sailor, but I drowned in a storm.” After seeing the film, which won Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes, Eilish teamed with her brother and collaborator Finneas O’Connell to pen the track.
“When we were composing the song, we wanted to write from within the narrative of the movie and the scenes that struck us the most from it,” the siblings said in a statement. “Having access to the sounds used in the film proved to be invaluable to help us convey this. Lines like ‘memories burn like a forest fire’ are accompanied by the sounds of the trees burning in the woods outside the house.”
They continued, “The chorus, has the ocean sounds overplayed on it. We were also able to take sounds like the student protest shouts and Borras barking and turn them into rhythmic percussive elements to help drive the song. Nothing about this song would exist without the film, which is exactly what we love about it.”
Sony Music Masterworks will release Music Inspired By Roma later this year.