“Sunny, yesterday my life was filled with rain.”
That’s how pop-soul standard “Sunny,” first released in 1966 by Bobby Hebb, begins, before giving way to a series of wonderful melodies that live somewhere between major and minor — kind of like an overcast day where you still manage to get sunburned. It’s an apt state of feeling for this age of social distancing — and no one personified that better than Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas, who brought it to life on Saturday (April 18) as part of Global Citizen’s One World: Together At Home special.
Eilish sang the mysterious, lovely tune in her patented gentle voice, flanked by orchids and accompanied by Finneas on an organ. It felt slightly offbeat and left-of-center — the jazz chords mingling with a sense of longing — something the sibling duo have parlayed into a well-celebrated musical career.
I couldn’t help but hear the tune as the kind of melody that could soundtrack a spy film. Perhaps it’s just a preview for Eilish and Finneas’s own upcoming contributions to the No Time to Die soundtrack. Or perhaps it’s just a song she’s always liked. “I love this song, and it’s always warmed my heart and made me feel good, and I wanted you guys to feel good,” Eilish said before launching into it.
The One World special also featured performances from Lady Gaga, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, and Eilish’s fellow Billie, Billie Joe Armstrong. The point of the show, as Gaga put it early on in the night, was to celebrate the health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle.
Here, for a few minutes, Eilish and Finneas were able to summon the sun from behind the clouds.