The first time I heard Ellie Goulding on my local pop radio station, I was actually surprised. I’d gotten her album because I knew she was British and she had a track called “Guns and Horses,” and how could I resist? But I also am not complaining that she gets played on the radio. For some reason, I have an easier time being into pop radio music when it’s sung by British women, but I don’t think it’s just because they’re British (though it doesn’t hurt); the ones I fall for are just all a little weird in their ways and I like that.
So here we go. Ellie Goulding, you make me happy.
“Don’t Say a Word.” Yes yes yes this sounds slightly like a science-fiction funeral so far. With the oohs and the echoing and whoops here come some deep drums and whatnot. The vocals are mixed out kinda techno, but I dig on it here. Definitely starting off less chipper than Lights does with “Lights” (though that’s not nearly as happy of a song as you might think) and I enjoy that. Now it’s just feeling like a whole montage of science-fiction scenes. Funerals, cityscapes, flying through space, making out.
“My Blood.” Oh well hello. Ellie dear, it’s like you’re making it easy on purpose. “The lost dreams I buried in my sleep for him and this was the ecstasy of love forgotten and I’m thrown in the gunfire of empty bullets and my blood is all I see as you steal my soul from me.” I really, really want to know what she was actually thinking about when she wrote this song, because it is not exactly the kind of thing you just pull out of your everyday dating experiences or whatever. This is a nice little morbid story, and I don’t know. There are gangsters or more likely vampires involved. Maybe vampire gangsters. British vampire gangsters.
“Anything Could Happen.” For some reason, my university decided to install three televisions in the area of the commons where you eat lunch this year; these televisions are turned to MTV U twenty-four hours a day, usually playing music videos, and usually it’s kind of annoying, but this video came on the other day and I just sat there grinning like an idiot. I still don’t know what’s actually going on during the video, but hey.
“Only You.” I’m just going to throw some more lyrics out there: “Only you can be the aching in my heart. My enemy, the only animal I couldn’t fight, you hold me in the dark when storms arrive, only you.” I think that should explain it. Because those are lyrics of feelings and getting emotionally sucker punched. Which I am good with.
“Halcyon.” Not quite as orchestral as previous tracks have been, no, but I like that Ellie Goulding can throw in massive orchestrations or not and it seems fantastic either way. There’s a buildup, but this one is still definitely more of a lyrics/vocals track to begin. Whoa, whoa, though, here comes a chorus and it is lovely. And we’re back to the lyrics/vocals, good grief she really does have a lovely voice and her accent is so delightful and I’m getting more feelings. Or rather I was having feelings before and this is just bringing them to the front.
“Figure 8.” I don’t know why adding in some techno/trance/dance/industrial/occasionally I feel like it’s dubstep-verging makes love songs more palatable for me sometimes. And also, “place a kiss on my cheekbone, then you vanish me, I’m buried in the snow but something tells me I’m not alone.” Please, please, Ellie Goulding, that you are making this so easy for me is making it really hard on me at the same time. At the same time, this is why I love her: yes some of this is pop radio-ready, but also the lyrics are giving me feelings basically without fail.
“Joy.” Okay, here comes a ballad maybe. This is one of those deceptively titled songs where you think “Oh, it’s called ‘Joy,’ I bet it’s going to be happy,” then nope. Have more feelings, you silly optimist. Accompanied with very nice orchestrations.
“Hanging On (Edit).” I think this is one of those songs that sounds remixed even just in the regular. Which I’m good with. Also, occasionally I can sort of pretend I can sing along to Ellie Goulding, then she whips out songs like this that are just highish note-highish note-highish note all over.
“Explosions.” Well, you had me with that title. Also with ghosts, falling from grace, and, gorramit Ellie Goulding, “You left my soul bleeding in the dark so you could be king, The rules you set are still untold to me and I lost my faith in everything. The nights you could cope, your intentions were gold but the mountains will shake.“ Somehow I hadn’t thought this was going to be one of those copypaste all the lyrics album liveblogs, but it’s turning out to be and I accept that.’
“I Know You Care.” Is that a creepy choir of children? Okay. Nothing like creepy choirs of children to make a mellow ballad seem way more morbid even if it’s not actually morbid at all. Also, gorramit Ellie Goulding seriously. “I know it wasn’t always wrong, but I’ve never known a winter so cold.” I think this could be sweet in a certain way, but not exactly a happy way probably.
“Atlantis.” Kinda wistful, and those are some hopeful violins there, and whoops, now there’s a beat. Mixing things up quite nicely, Ellie dear. I am also a fan of what appear to be songs about relationships that are named after mythical underwater cities.
“Dead in the Water.” Whoops whoops stop it. Here, just have all the lyrics. I cannot even come up with coherent commentary, this is just beautiful and melancholy and fantastic and slightly unnerving and I love it. It has the feel of a great epic finale.
“I Need Your Love.” This is listed as Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding. And it’s even more technodubsteppy and I’m okay with that.
“Hanging On.” This is now the full version, with Tinie Tempah. Okay. So far relatively similar. Oh, here comes a rapper. Who also has an accent. As I’ve said before, rap isn’t really my thing, but I guess if you’re into that you might be into it?
And she put “Lights” on this album too, since it just got popular this year. Okay. Whatever, I love this song and I do not give a damn.
“Ritual.” This is one of those times where I cheated with a track to mix with because augh it is just so perfect. This song is epic, plain and simple. It’s layered and kind of creepy and dark and I just. It did what it needed to do and it did it well and I thank it for that.
“In My City.” Oh well this is fascinating. I mean, you could take city literally and that would be a cool story, but you could also take it… less literally and it would be a cool story. Also wings. Those could be twelve kinds of metaphor.
“Without Your Love.” And those are some drums there. And oh seriously, are you kidding me. “Move in with something, I’ll then earn my trust, maybe they’re scratching the wall to be ours. I think I’ve been waiting for this all my life, flourish the kisses like foes in the dark. Without your love I’m getting somewhere, without your love I’m feeling so bad. Without your love I’m getting somewhere, without your love I’m getting somewhere.” This isn’t even funny anymore. Also, thank you for acknowledging this truth of things in a song, Ellie dear. Yes, it does feel bad, but yes, you are in fact getting somewhere. And that’s cool.
“Anything Can Happen (Blood Diamond Remix).” It’s a remix of a song I like anyway. And Ellie Goulding remixes are my favorite of all remixes, I’m pretty sure this is just a fact.
–your fangirl heroine.