Both Billie Eilish and Khalid are on their way to becoming music industry mainstays. They put the work in—Billie's dontsmileatme was one of 2017's strongest front-to-back releases, and Khalid has been rising steadily since "Location" went viral as he was graduating high school. What better way to capitalize on their mutual success than a collaboration?
"lovely" is an intensely dramatic offering—strings and a downcast piano precede the first verse, and Billie's smoky vocals act as quicksand, dragging the listener down to a dark place. But it's cozy down there, especially once the song's duet starts to take shape. Khalid's voice is an interesting counterpoint to Billie's—he occupies a very different textural space, cutting through the straining strings where she seems to melt into the instrumentation. "lovely" will be remembered for the way these two sound together—it feels like a Billie Eilish song, but gives Khalid a chance to explore a new, more despondent side. It's really refreshing to hear two of the music industry's rising stars taking such a chance together, and better yet, it works.