The haunting lead single from Billie Eilish's debut album is a duet with Khalid in which both singers croon about their issues with depression.
Isn't it lovely, all alone
Heart made of glass, my mind of stone
Tear me to pieces, skin to bone
Hello, welcome home
Eilish told Beats 1's Zane Lowe the "Lovely" title is meant to be sarcastic. She explained: "The song is really freaking depressing, oh how lovely, just like taking everything horrible… You know what, this is great I'm so happy being so miserable."
Billie Eilish and Khalid wrote the song with Billie's older brother and producer Finneas O'Connell. Finneas recalled the story of the song in an Instagram post:
"The three of us wrote this together in my tiny little bedroom. Just like we always do. I spent the next few months building the production around their beautiful voices and the piano I'd played while we were writing it."
The strings are played by musician Madison Leinster, who is widely known for her eponymous YouTube channel where she performs vocal, ukulele, and violin covers of popular songs.
"Lovely" became Eilish's first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 after receiving a boost from its placement on the 13 Reasons Why Season soundtrack. The song plays during season 2's last episode, "Bye," in which Clay Jensen finally copes with the death of his close friend Hannah Baker. (Her suicide and recorded audio cassettes sparked the events of the series.)
Bonnie McKee and AUGUST 08 released a cover version on June 28, 2019. Said McKee: "'Lovely' is a haunting story, evoking adolescent nights of sneaking out and wandering aimlessly, alone with your thoughts and fears, just you, your shadow, and your footsteps. It feels like an attempted escape from suburbia, finding a quiet moment to indulge in the frustration of desire, the sting of loneliness, and the romance of longing to flee the constraints of routine and authority."