Ellie Goulding’s back then. Though I gather that if you live in the States, she’s only just arrived. “Lights” was a track on the deluxe “Bright Lights” version of her debut album, and wasn’t a hit in the UK. But inexplicably it gathered massive success in the USA, peaking at #2 there, and now spreading to Europe. Perhaps this wasn’t part of the plan, as her second album has just arrived with a worldwide release (and presumably “Lights” tacked on for good measure).
Can’t say I was very fussed with her to start with, arrived on a wave of hype in 2010 with the flimsy “Starry Eyed”. There were a few other singles, but only a cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” really did anything for me. I did rather like the song “Lights” too though, and give some hope that a dancier Ellie might suit my tastes more.
But she returns with second album “Halcyon” and this ear-worm of a track that has really grabbed me since I first heard it. Musically I’d put it somewhere between the MGMT songs that I’ve heard (i.e. Time to Pretend) and Florence + The Machine. The catchy thread through it is that wear vocal-synth sample used throughout, giving a weird floaty feel to the track.
Her vocals are still a bit divisive, and I’m not sure if the way she sings sounds a bit too affected. I can at least be confident that she appears to be singing total nonsense. It’s just nonsense that’s really lovely to listen to. That throbbing beat throughout doesn’t hurt either, there’s a great synthy dreamy vibe on this. The middle-eight is glorious too, who knew she could do something like this?
As nonsensical as the lyrics is the ludicrous video, where a semi-albino Ellie floats around a beach in a nice dress (now ruined, surely), sometimes dangling from a weird cloud harness, other times surrounded by mirrored geometric shapes. There’s a car crash, a nosebleed, she stares at the camera a few times and goes “HEEE!”; it’s all there. Somehow it’s totally captivating to watch, even if just to make head or tail of it. OK she probably died in the crash and is now a ghost/angel, but is there more to it than that?
I’ll certainly give “Halcyon” a few spins, probably review it too, but who knows if this single will be anything like the rest. Not sure if that’ll be a good thing or not!