Ellie Goulding Lyrics & More
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Having already conquered her native Britain with the biggest and fastest selling debut album of 2010, Lights-- premiering at No. 1 on the U.K. album chart, four hit singles she co-wrote, and a BRIT award -- singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding is ready to make a similar splash in America with her sparkling electro-folk-pop sound. Lights is, as the New York Times put it, “a happy car crash of signifiers: part electro-pop, part soul, part blues, part indie rock, part folk” that mixes heartfelt emotion with other-worldly atmospherics. Anchoring her songs with acoustic guitar, Goulding and her producer, Starsmith, spin cool electronica into dreamy warmth on “Starry Eyed,” “Guns and Horses,” “The Writer,” and “Under the Sheets.”
“I’m not afraid of pop or electronic music,” Goulding says of the euphoric, dance-till-you-drop vibe of Lights, “but I also wanted the album to embrace my love for folk music, not just by my playing guitar on it, but by writing about things that have truly affected me. I wear my heart on my sleeve and am aware of how I’m feeling all the time, so it’s impossible for me to write words that are contrived or meaningless.”
Goulding’s lyrics are refreshingly direct as she chronicles the highs and lows of love in her airy, gossamer voice. “Under The Sheets” addresses sleeping around, while “Animal” revels in the feverish state of falling in love. “The Writer” cops to her being paralyzed with obsession over a lover. “I’ve gotten so many messages from girls who can relate to ‘The Writer,’” Goulding says. “I think anyone can get to the point where they love someone so much that they just start doing ridiculous things, like smoking or drinking, or dressing differently, I know I’ve done it.” “Guns and Horses” is about falling in love with someone who doesn’t really know how to love and wanting to take their pain away. The album takes its title from the song “Lights,” which is about Goulding’s fear of the dark. “Having a light on always makes me feel safe,” she says. “It gives me strength, which is why I named the album after that song.”
Then there’s the first U.S. single “Starry Eyed,” which Goulding describes as “one of those rare songs that isn’t melancholy and is actually a bit happier. I kind of throw everything to the wind and say, ‘Who cares about emotions? Let’s just have fun,’” she says with a laugh. “I love sad songs, but I also appreciate feel-good songs.”
A self-taught singer and guitarist, Ellie was raised with her three siblings in Hereford, a cathedral city about 16 miles east of the Welsh border. After her parents divorced when she was five, Goulding moved to the tiny rural village of Lyonshall with her mother and her mother’s new boyfriend, a lorry driver. “I basically went from living in the city to suddenly living in the countryside,” she says. “At first I hated it, but I slowly grew to love it and became completely fascinated by being surrounded by all this wide open space – it still colors everything I do to this day.”
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