Billie Eilish braves racing cars whizzing dangerously nearby her in the new video for “NDA.” The song appears on her upcoming sophomore studio album, Happier Than Ever, which arrives on July 30th via Darkroom/Interscope.
In the visual, which Eilish self-directed, the singer walks alone at night on a foreboding street, as she details the pressures of maintaining relationships on the DL when you’re in the public eye. She steels herself as a couple dozen cars appear and race around her in the dark of night. It was shot in one take, according to a statement. Like the song’s namesake (“NDA” standing for a non-disclosure agreement), trust is on the line between the singer and the drivers, which mirrors the risky romance she discusses in the lyrics.
Eilish’s body, her sexuality and her romantic relationships have all become targets of scrutiny as her fame has grown, and “Happier Than Ever” finds her erecting barbed boundaries around all these battle zones — if occasionally teasing the listener with a few shrewdly dropped details. “I bought a secret house when I was 17,” Eilish, now 19, sings on the serpentine “NDA.” “Had a pretty boy over but he couldn’t stay/On his way out made him sign an NDA.”
That line is at once boastful and melancholy, and its duality makes “NDA” one of the most compelling songs on the album. “Happier Than Ever” is partially a chronicle of a wildly successful, obsessively surveilled young woman trying to date and explore her desires. On the swoony ballad “Halley’s Comet,” Eilish bemoans the disconnect inherent in this workaholic lifestyle: “Halley’s comet/Comes around more than I do,” she sings. “Midnight for me is 3 a.m. for you.” Elsewhere, though, on the aptly titled “Billie Bossa Nova” or the industrial-tinged, Nine Inch Nails-esque “Oxytocin,” Eilish revels in the thrill of having to sneak around to get her kicks: “What would people say if they listen through the wall?” she intones with a menacing glint.