July 12, 2010 § Leave a comment
The video for Ellie Goulding’s next single, ‘The Writer’, was released yesterday (July 11th) and here it is in all its I-look-good-lying-in-a-field glory. Pretty. The single, one of the more down tempo numbers from album Lights, is released August 9th.
May 5, 2010 § Leave a comment
Guns and Horses is Ellie’s next single, set to be released May 17th. As with every other Goulding single so far, the remixes are springing up fast.
Ellie herself has expressed a liking for Monsieur Adi’s effort, I personally prefer the James Rutledge remix. Monsieur Adi has turned it into a six and half minute epic, drawing out the vocals and adding more strings, building up into a frenetic beat. It’s great but a little too drawn out for my liking. James Rutledge jumps right in, using more echoed vocals and heavier beats giving it a more industrial sound…and he adds claps AND clicks. Maybe I’m just a sucker for those….
April 14, 2010 § Leave a comment
Chiddy Bang are probably most known for ‘The Opposite of Adults’, their song sampling MGMT’s ‘Kids’. They’ve taken plenty of other songs and put a fresh spin on them (my personal favourite being their Under The Sheets remix), as well as making music in their own right. Most recently they have released Air Swell, a mini-mixtape. One track I’m particularly fond of is ‘Hey London’, which samples Hot Chip’s ‘One Life Stand’. Sometimes their raps have sounded a little uncomfortable to me, as if they’ve really been struggling for lyrics. This is definitely not the case here, with the guys sounding more comfortable than ever, making for a relaxed and highly enjoyable track. Listen to it here, and download the mixtape for free via the widget below.
April 11, 2010 § Leave a comment
The next single from Ellie Goulding’s no.1 album Lights is ‘Guns and Horses’, set to be released May 7th. Ellie had this to say about the track:
“I wrote Guns And Horses about a romance that began online (hence the lyric ‘you found me, at a screen you sit at permanently’). I wanted the guy to feel more than he did for me but through no fault of his own he couldn’t. It’s a song about frustration essentially. My producer made me laugh at the end, I can’t repeat what he called me though.” (Read what she had to say about the rest of the tracks on the album here)
The video was filmed in Griffith Park in Los Angeles and features forest exploration, theatrical military-costumed dancers, and of course, guns and horses. Plus the irreplaceable and ever-endearing Goulding arm movements.
A really nicely shot video. We like.
April 7, 2010 § Leave a comment
Neon Gold Records is basically two American college kids who decided to save up some money, work really hard, and release some records. Somehow this idea has developed in to a giant ball of amazingness. They were instrumental in the early stages of the careers of Marina & the diamonds and Ellie Goulding, and have also released records for Yes Giantess, Freelance Whales, Passion Pit, The Sound of Arrows and Penguin Prison. All incredible artists.
Their blog is frequently updated with their new artists as well as remixed tracks and free mp3s. This blog has become a major source of excitement in my life. Recently I have especially enjoyed new tracks from Mr. Little Jeans, GROUP and Oberhofer. Head on over to the blog for the free downloads.
Neon Gold I love you. I wish all record labels were as fresh, exciting and passionate as this.
April 5, 2010 § Leave a comment
It would be easy to imagine Ellie Goulding’s live show as being extravagant; an excuse for the much hyped and glorified ‘folktronica’ singer to flex her ego and essentially show off. But this is incredibly far from the truth. Whilst the majority of performers receiving the amount of attention she has (winning the Brits Critics Choice Award and topping the BBC’s Sound of 2010 Poll) may find themselves swimming in a sea of self-adoration, Ellie Goulding is a humble and unpretentious individual, an attitude that comes across refreshingly and allows her incredible talent to shine through.
A select few of us in the crowd at the Club Academy were privy to this knowledge pre-show, having had the opportunity to take part in Nike’s ‘Ellie Runs’ campaign earlier in the day: we met Ellie and got to join her on a run through Manchester, a ritual she upholds in every place she visits, and is letting fans join her on in 7 cities. How many other artists would be willing to do such a thing with their fans?
The set opened with a track only included on the iTunes version of her debut album Lights, a bonus track of the same name. ‘Lights’ is an incredible song, and anyone who purchased a physical copy of the album (does anyone do that these days?) should download it. It was a great choice for an opening number; the song starts out quietly and cathartically, crescendoing into the pop/electro/folk sound that categorizes the album. This gave the crowd a brief glimpse of Ellie solo, before seeing what she can do with aid of her band. And what can she do? Quite simply, blow your mind. She proceeded to play every song from her album, with tracks such as ‘Everytime You Go’, ‘This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)’ and ‘Your Biggest Mistake’ providing the crowd with sing-along opportunities that they wholeheartedly embraced. The crowd itself was a jumble of gender and age, with die-hard fans holding banners aloft and singing along to every song, groups of friends joined in mutual adoration of Ellie’s incredible voice (and hair as someone yelled out), and older gentlemen admiring her mastery of the acoustic guitar and drumming skills (as well as swaying to tracks such as ‘The Writer’ which looked a little peculiar but was thoroughly endearing!). The diverse crowd only served to highlight Ellie’s talent, people from all age groups had braved the horrendous Manchester weather and crammed into the basement of the Academy to hear the girl from Hereford amaze us with her raspy, delicate, and yet shockingly powerful vocals.
Between songs Ellie came across as appreciative and charming, thanking fans for buying her album, explaining track meanings, and inviting us all to go jogging with her (the girl can RUN). Her comments that the room was too quiet whilst she was speaking were met by raucous yet concise cheers, not due to lack of enthusiasm but an enthralment and eagerness to know what she had to say next. I think it’s safe to say that the majority of the room were completely spellbound: those who had come with prior knowledge enjoying her brilliance; those just discovering it left astounded.
The most energetic parts of the night were found in singles ‘Under the Sheets’ and ‘Starry Eyed’, stomping tracks during which Ellie grabbed her drumsticks and beat her sparkling drum as vigorously as she attacked the microphone. Vocal samples were used to recreate the layering found in the production of Lights, but it was the live vocals that shone through, showing that no matter how good the album is, it does no justice to the range and nuances displayed in live performances. ‘Wish I Stayed’ gave the audience a chance to hear her vocals more stripped down as her band left and we saw Ellie alone with her guitar. Any doubts that fans may have had about over-production ruining Ellie’s sound surely had their faith restored by this number, a moving few minutes during which we saw her vulnerability and natural ability to mesmerize. The same was seen in a cover of Midlake’s ‘Roscoe’ which was performed stunningly, showing how easily Ellie can put her stamp on any song with her unique vocals (as she has done in the past with Bon Iver’s ‘Wolves’, Sam Sparro’s ‘Black and Gold’, and Robyn’s ‘Be Mine’), and in this case impressive guitar skills. Not to say that this was lost during the bigger numbers; ‘Salt Skin’ was performed with the band but still proved to be emotive and touching whilst showcasing Ellie’s ability to create bigger and more complexly produced numbers.
‘Starry Eyed’ closed the night with a bang, leaving everyone in the room energised and thankful that they had seen Ellie Goulding in such a small and intimate venue, something that won’t be happening much longer for a girl with her immense talent. Overall, an enchanting evening, one which proved that if you take away the production of Lights, the opinions of critics, and the stacks of publicity, you are left with Ellie’s natural talent and warmth, things that make her worthy of all the success she is destined to achieve.
March 5, 2010 § Leave a comment
For someone who has received such an incredible amount of attention, Ellie Goulding certainly seems to be taking it all in her stride. In interviews she comes across as a grounded and level-headed individual who is doing what she does to the best of her ability and not taking much notice of all the media attention. Which is probably an attitude that will keep her from going insane with the release of her debut album ‘Lights’ this week. The record itself seems to have taken a backseat. Critics, magazines, TV and radio stations have all become so eager to jump on the bandwagon and grab a slice of the Goulding pie that the music seems to have been lost somewhere along the way. But with ‘Lights’ currently sitting at number 1 on the iTunes album chart, a position it has been enjoying practically since first thing Monday morning, there must be something underlying all of the hype. Right?
‘Lights’ opens strongly with Guns and Horses, a track that will already be familiar to Goulding fans. It has received a slight update, with smoother yet more complex production, but retains the same sound that made people fans to begin with, myself included. Selecting this song as the opener was a wise choice, letting existing fans know that the girl they know and love hasn’t changed all that much, whilst letting new fans know what they are in for.
From the beginning of the album, there’s a very familiar feel to it all. Not in a ‘I’ve heard this before way’, it’s more a feeling that you’re already comfortable with everything that it sets out to do. A sense of comraderie if you will. Obviously already knowing almost half the tracks on the record contributed to this, and those who are brand new to Goulding’s music may not feel the same, but I believe it lies with the the sound of the record, and not my preexisting familiarity with it. Ellie’s voice is vulnerable yet powerful, and pertains a quality throughout the album which draws you in and makes you feels like you are listening in on her private thoughts, her dreams, the things she whispers to a loved one. Her lyrics are beautiful in their simplicity, tracks such as ‘This Love (Will Be Your Downfall)’ and ‘Every Time You Go’ telling us of the the problems faced by lovers – heartbreak and it’s ability to weaken those involved. Love is a recurring theme throughout the record, but not in a sickly over dramatic manner, it’s more an exploration of the world of young love, and all the excitement, freshness and powerfulness that comes with it. This is mirrored in the production of the songs, with tracks such as ‘Wish I’d Stayed’ and ‘Your Biggest Mistake’ containing both heavy drum beats as well as charming melodies and vocal layering. Stand out tracks come in the form of ‘The Writer’, a track which opens with tinkling synth and keyboard melodies and builds into crashing beats and xylophone parts, and the previously mentioned ‘Guns and Horses’ and ‘Wish I Stayed’. Interestingly, another highlight comes in the form of iTunes bonus track, ‘Lights’. Whilst it provides a very valid reason to buy the album from iTunes, those who don’t will truly be missing out. The song features one of the best beats of the whole album, some of Goulding’s best vocals, and charming yet haunting lyrics.
The vulnerable and open nature of Goulding’s songwriting is the best part of the album. And with that lies my only problem with the record – it’s all a little too overproduced. Not in a technical sense, Starsmith has done a fantastic job of creating sparkling electronic pop songs that actually contain many more layers than they may first appear to. My qualm lies in the fact that this isn’t necessarily what Goulding’s songs require. Pre-album release, it was tracks like ‘Not Following You’, a quiet yet captivating track featuring just vocals and an acoustic guitar, that made me a fan. That track wasn’t selected for the album, which I am thankful for as had it been chosen, it no doubt would have been sped up, layered with guitars and synths and probably ruined. I’m definitely not saying that the tracks which were selected have been ruined. Far from it. ‘Starry Eyed’ and ‘Under The Sheets’ have already become classics in my mind completely because of their ability to combine pop simplicity with something more enchanting, a dance edge, an electronic pulse that makes them unforgettable. Perhaps what I was craving from this album was variety, stomping dancefloor tracks alongside simple acoustic numbers that let Goulding’s voice take the front seat. Although having said that, it still completely does. The fact that there are no simpler numbers on the record only serve to make me excited for live performances, future albums, and the promising future that Ellie Goulding is undoubtedly going to have.