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The Wait Is Over: Billie Eilish Announces New Album ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’

The superstar’s third record will arrive next month

Billie Eilish album

William Drumm

It’s been three years since Billie Eilish released a new album, but the wait is over: Hit Me Hard and Soft will arrive May 17.

The album cover features Eilish underwater, barefoot and sinking beneath a white wooden door. According to the release, Hit Me Hard and Soft is meant to be listened to all the way through — a cohesive body of work. “Not doing singles I wanna give it to you all at once,” Eilish wrote on Instagram. “Finneas and I truly could not be more proud of this album and we absolutely can’t wait for you to hear it.”

The news arrives after Eilish teased new music on Instagram for several days, even adding cryptic images and words to the close-friends feature on Instagram (which she made public). One story featured the album title partially tattooed on Eilish, while another revealed glimpses of the album artwork.

Hit Me Hard and Soft marks Eilish’s third album, following 2021’s Happier Than Ever and her 2019 star-making debut, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? In February, Eilish revealed on social media that the follow-up to Happier Than Ever was mastered. Back in 2023, she confirmed she was working on new music via an interview with The Cookout. “There is lots of music coming,” she said. “There is a whole album of music coming. We’re in the final stages of making it, so that doesn’t mean it’s about to come out, but it is getting there, and it’s very exciting.”

Though the album marks Eilish’s first full-length in three years, she’s released new music since Happier Than Ever. In 2022, she surprise-released the EP Guitar Songs (which contained the two tracks “TV” and “The 30th”). And last year, she contributed the tear-jerker “What Was I Made For?” to the Barbie soundtrack, which became a massive hit. The ballad won Song of the Year at the 2024 Grammys and took home Best Original Song at the Academy Awards, the latter making her the youngest person to ever win two Oscars (she and Finneas first took home the award in 2021 for the James Bond theme “No Time to Die”).

Hit Me Hard and Soft will be available in several vinyl formats on release day, featuring the same track listing and made of recyclable materials. Last week, Eilish spoke to Billboard about the music industry’s lack of sustainability practices; she then clarified her comments that she wasn’t singling an artist out.

“When it comes to variants, so many artists release them — including ME!” she wrote. “Which I clearly state in the article. The climate crisis is now, and it’s about all of us being part of the problem and trying to do better. Sheesh.”

From Rolling Stone US