US star Billie Eilish said that she has “never ever loved something” more than her third studio album Hit Me Hard And Soft.

The theme of the album – while similar to her previous two in criticising toxic beauty standards, the pressures of global stardom and ruthless online commentary – is an outlier in that it is centred around love and its accompanying heartbreak.

Eilish, who did not release any singles in advance, planned for the album to be listened to chronologically on Friday so it “hits you hard and soft both lyrically and sonically, while bending genres and defying trends along the way”, her website said.

On Instagram, she posted a short video snippet of her and brother and songwriting partner Finneas O’Connell in which he speaks about making a new album before the footage abruptly ends.

Eilish also wrote: “I put so much into this album and have never ever, ever loved something more.

“We hope you enjoy it so much and I’ll see you on the other side.”

The 22-year-old exhibits mostly subdued vocals across the album, contrasted with track Lunch featuring a funk beat with lyrics about lust for a lesbian partner.

Birds Of A Feather, the fourth track on the record, is focused around romantic infatuation.

The song was teased ahead of the album’s release during the trailer for hit Netflix LGBT series Heartstopper, about the romance between rugby player Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) and unpopular Charlie Spring (Joe Locke).

O’Connell also posted on Instagram, saying: “This album is my favourite thing I’ve ever been a part of making and there were so many times during the making of it that I thought we’d never finish it or had no idea what we were doing I lost count –  just goes to show –  when you’re in it, you might just have to try to keep swimming – you can only really see the ocean once you’re on the shore.

“I’m going offline now because what you all think of this album is your business, not mine but I really do hope you like it – we make everything with you in mind and we owe it all to you – thanks for the sick job/life. We’re so lucky.”

Meanwhile, unrequited love is the theme of sixth track The Greatest, which builds into a longing power ballad.

Eilish previously told Rolling Stone that the shooting the cover for her album left her in the worse pain of her life, as she was on her back underwater with a door open above her held down with a weight.

The album cover was created a few days after her Grammy song of the year win for Barbie hit What Was I Made For?.

The song also earned Eilish an Oscar for best original song this year, alongside O’Connell, having scooped their first Academy Award in 2022 for their James Bond track No Time To Die.

Her debut record When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was released in 2019, while the follow-up titled Happier Than Ever was released in 2021.

Eilish, known for her advocacy of environmental causes, previously said she will “limit” the amount of vinyl records she releases for her new album.

Her website said the standard black variant is made from 100% recycled materials, while the rest use Eco-Mix or BioVinyl.

Last month, Eilish announced a new tour in support of the album, with UK dates scheduled for 2025.