Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Ellie Goulding - Halcyon Days

Ellie Goulding was introduced to me by music channels when she released first single 'Under The Sheets' from first album Lights. However, my general interest in Gouldings music came from hit single Starry Eyed after hearing her live lounge version and her cover of Elton John's 'Your Song'.

Lights (2010) was an album which I personally enjoyed and highly appreciated, but wasn't entirely my cup of tea. Whilst I enjoyed some of the songs off the album not every song was one I could connect with, to my taste. YouTube research and finds of her singing without album production and heavy remixing showed her natural talent and proved to a lot of critics who had only just heard of Goulding who then claimed her vocals seemed to come "more from the throat than the lungs" were actually genuine natural vocals.

Halcyon (2012) was a different story entirely. The whole album was astonishing and blew me away in surprise at how different it felt, Gouldings vocals were more powerful and beautiful than ever before and I could relate to every song.

When listening to an online interview of her describing the new album, Goulding explained that the album was focused on her rather than having vocals from a variety of other artists, despite wanting to collaborate with many people, due to fans waiting two years for Halcyon and not wanting to cover it with features. Fans gave the album a thumbs up and critics gave positive feedback, the album was hands down a success, showing more of a dance and pop genre compared to previous album Lights and its indie folk/pop feel. 

Halcyon was re-released in 2013 with 'Halcyon Days' including more songs and a few features from other artists, as well as her first UK number 1 single 'Burn' which sold 116,857 copies in its first week.

One thing that particularly stood out to me was that Halcyon not only had changed to a more electronic dance genre but that a lot of the songs produced had lyrics that needed a lot more feeling and personal experience to not only write up but to sing for. This is shown in songs such as 'I Know You Care' and 'Hearts Without Chains'.

The album has so many great songs I can't possibly choose a favourite, however one of my most played 5/5 stars is 'You, My Everything' the song is upbeat and gives off a club like vibe, although the majority of the album could be played and enjoyed throughout dancing environment, this particular songs has that kind of drop that you know you'd adore whether sober or not, as well as it being very tame with its lyrics and still making Gouldings fans scream into their best friends ears "You, my everything" whilst trying not to spill that standard Saturday night Vodka redbull down themselves. (Speaking from experience)

My personal least favourite is 'Goodness Gracious'. Given a chance and repeatedly listening to the song, I can easily get used to it, but from Halcyon Days, it doesn't give me the 'wow' factor like every other song. I feel like Gouldings vocals have been played with a little too much and are too quiet on the track making it my least favourite overall, however its a real feel good song!

There is no one I could pair Ellie Goulding with for a 'perfect song'. Her voice alone is enough for for me. Goulding puts on a fantastic performance for fans during her tours and her friend Bruno Mars who she's currently been supporting on tour. Her performances show off her skills with not only her vocals but instruments handed to her (known for percussion, strings and keys live) and still managing to look completely gorgeous. Goulding ensures fans are having a great time and that they're enjoying her set. 

Overall, Halcyon Days is an incredible 5/5 album with a tempo perfectly suiting Gouldings voice. An incredible set of lyrics and a natural yet different from every other musician voice that shows Gouldings ability to both improve and impress, she's an excellent role model to fans and I think a lot more musicians in the world should put as much effort into their work as she does. 

Nice one Ellie. 

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