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Kill Your Darlings at the Clock Diner

By Ari Mikayla

During one of my extensive Spotify scours, I discovered an artist called “Cruel Billie.” Her piercing blue eyes and blond updo evoke the 60’s darling aesthetic I admire. The small California-based artist released her new single, "Kill Darling," on June 14th. On her TikTok @cruelbillie, she shared her “Kill Darling Essentials,” which included lipstick, roses, a flask, a heart locket, a crow, a veil, pink kitten heels, nail polish, an ID tag, and my favorite—a name-engraved gun. This song is a sexy, girly Western revenge ballad that transports you to the 19th century, reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe as Kay in “River of No Return” or a saloon queen dancing on a bartop.

Billie engages her listeners through her social media accounts by sharing teasers of upcoming music and the sentiments behind her songs. In a recent TikTok, she described the sentiment of "Kill Darling" as “If you wanna get to paradise, you gotta kill your darlings and take the ride, so burn all the roads except the one that takes you where you’re meant to be, and don’t stop till you reach heaven.” What sets Cruel Billie apart is her ability to evoke strong visual and emotional reactions through her music. Her style is both nostalgic and fresh, blending decadent aesthetics with reflective lyrics.

Billie’s music lures you into a cinematic dream sequence where you might suddenly find yourself sitting in a desolate diner in a backless dress. All dressed up with nowhere to be, you aimlessly stir your black coffee. I couldn’t help but conjure up this image while listening to her song titled “Clock Diner,” released on Valentine's Day this year. The song starts as a dreamy pop ballad that transforms into an introspective poetry sermon, featuring poetry written and performed by Lauren Elise (Lorvida) and a sermon voiced by Gabor Joseph.

In addition to "Kill Darling" and "Clock Diner," Cruel Billie’s 2021 album “This Is Kismet” showcases her vintage sensibilities and thematic exploration of love, revenge, and self-discovery, all wrapped in a dreamy, cinematic sound. Her music transports listeners to a world where emotions are heightened and every moment feels significant.

Cruel Billie is an artist with a clear vision, engaging presence, and storytelling prowess. Whether you're a fan of nostalgic aesthetics or seeking music that evokes deep emotions, Cruel Billie is worth listening to.

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