Music Review: Ellie Goulding

If you're curious why I've been bobbleheaded lately, it's because Ellie Goulding's voice has been boppin' 'round my frontal lobe at every waking moment.

If you live in These United States of America, you've probably never heard of Ellie Goulding.  That's because her music has not yet been officially released by her label Neon Gold Records.

However, thanks to and a limey Twitter friend, I've been able to sample Goulding's Brit-Pop nectar, and it is sweet.

The key to my new Ellie obsession is two-fold:

First, I'm a sucker for female artists with elegant, child-like voices. Goulding has this quality in droves, and she will hypnotize you with it.  (This also explains my fixation with the Texas-based girl-pop band Eisley.)

Secondly, the production on the tracks I've heard is superb.  Subdued electronica and tancey beats by producer Starsmith flow wisely beneath Goulding's voice.  The sounds transform what I imagine were once dainty acoustic tunes into epic works electric pop that will make you listen hard.

The writing is also very good.  Lyrically, nothing is tied down.  Themes float and coalesce in the music, much like the voice that sings them.  I especially like the track Black and Gold, an existentialist love song which refers to the world as "just a bunch of matter," and laments that "If you're not really here, then I don't want to be either / I want to be next to you."

But it's really Goulding's unique voice that supplies the gravity here.  Often, it's the parts without lyrics, where her rising harmonies and quirky riffs just shine. In addition to the natural melodies, Starsmith uses Goulding's voice as an electronic instrument to punctuate rhythms and phrases to great effect.  As scat and bebop captivated jazz, this is an intriguing vocal production style for electric pop.

Oh, and just look at her - she's adorable.  And British.  Did I mention she's British?

Take a listen to the track that got me hooked, called Starry Eyed.

Caution: The following music may be severely life-altering.

So start listening now, and when you hear Ellie Goulding on Grey's Anatomy in six months, you'll be much cooler than your friend(s) for knowing her.

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Mark William Jackson said...

Cool review,I'll have a listen over the weekend. Is she British?

Dona said...

Thank you! I needed a new obsession.

Reminds me a bit of Kate Bush.

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