Ellie Goulding, the billowy Camberwell singer-songwriter/electropop goddess, is on the phone. Occasionally perceived by the media as illusive, but in no doubt, earnest in comparison to the other pre-packaged poppettes who are hot at the moment–she is charming, down-to-earth and eloquently (and effortlessly) opinionated. Goulding is a rarity in today’s pop market, freely straddling the guises of earnest singer and international pop sensation without breaking stride, her ability as a live musician, performer and vocalist has helped propel her career further than was ever anticipated. And with a career that has achieved what most singers could only wish for, Goulding is understandably excited about the deluxe re-release of her successful second album HALCYON DAYS.
“When I wrote HALCYON I didn’t realize what a dark place I was in. I wasn’t interested really in writing upbeat tracks,” Goulding tells me.
HALCYON DAYS is a deluxe edition re-release of its predecessor, with ten brand new tracks. There was a dark heart to the original HALCYON, that kind of electronically-driven emotional heft revealed Goulding to be more than just a beautiful voice. They were songs of love, abandonment and recovery, drawing on the Greek Halcyon myth of mourning. Whereas HALCYON DAYS is the lighter side of the pie. Songs that didn’t make it onto the album because their ingredients were meant to mixed in their own recipe.
“These tracks are songs that I wanted to release in the first place, but didn’t seem to quite fit in with HALCYON. It was a part of the story that I needed to get off my chest. These songs, individually, have a different kind of story,” says Goulding. “These tracks are a very different vibe, but it’s something that I wanted to add on to HALCYON. I’d argue I’m in a very different state now than I was when I originally wrote HALCYON, so I’m pleased I’m getting to release more songs.”
The repackaged album is full of honest lyricism, top class musicianship and bags of heart, all tied together by Goulding’s signature breathy vocal. HALCYON DAYS features Goulding’s hit singles ‘Anything Could Happen’, ‘Explosions’ and ‘Figure 8’, as well as her Calvin Harris jam ‘I Need Your Love’.
After her debut album LIGHTS punched a big hole in the music charts, won numerous awards and reached triple-platinum, Goulding released HALCYON in 2012, further wowing worldwide audience. Goulding went on to become one of the most remixed artists in pop history, along with performing both at the Royal Wedding and for President Obama, as well as touring with pop’s biggest powerhouses: Bruno Mars and Katy Perry. HALYCYON DAY’s song ‘Burn’ quickly earned Goulding her first UK No. 1.
“I’ve had some of the most incredible few years of my life. I’ve been to some of the craziest parties with DJ’s and friends in the electronic music world. I’ve done a bunch of that stuff and at the same time, I’ve gotten to perform at a charity event for Prince Harry. I’m constantly in this different world where I’m expressing myself and my music, and also just having an incredible time. I was finally able to give myself a break. I’ve had so many different crazy and exciting experiences and I’m really grateful for the last few years.”
photographer / Louie Banks
story / Heather Seidler