It may seem like Ellie Goulding just suddenly puffed out of thin air when we first heard "Lights," the single that garnered global acclaim and remixes from DJs all over the world. But really her rise to fame has been slow and steady and long past due. Now is her moment and she's far from letting it slip through her fingers, already releasing a new album, entitled Halcyon, which she wrote right down the street from her childhood home of Herefordshire, England. By this time fans alreaady expected great things - if this album didn't live up to Lights, Goulding might accidentally cut short her career and doom herself a one-hit wonder. That's pretty heavy and yet, being the cool, calm and collected enigma that she is, Goulding claims she never blinked an eye. "I'm sure there are theories. But, really, I didn't feel any pressure," she says.
And now that seems perfectly rational, considering the way fans are describing the album, using phrases like "austere" and "compelling." A favorite single from Halcyon is "Anything Could Happen," and you may be wondering what's up with the haunting video that accompanies it. Goulding explains, "I wanted to take the song out of its comfort zone and show that it had a darker side." Luckily the video's director, Floria Sigmondi, had a similar vision and the project turned out amazing.
There is, however, one thing fans are calling the album that isn't necessarily what the singer expected. "A break-up album is not my favorite way to describe it. It's not just about a broken heart. I write about other things I've seen and felt." She continues on to say she never intended it to be about her love life; it just sort of happened.
Speaking of things that 'just sort of happened,' this is also how she describes her success in the electronic genre. "I didn't expect it to be electronic. I never set out to make an electronic album; it just ended up turning into one because that's just what happens when you record with Jim (Eliot)," she says, which is funny considering the huge persona she's become in the techno world, even working with dubstep megastar Skrillex recently. But if she's being honest, her biggest influences have been the ethereal electronica of Bjork and the earnestness of Adele. "I really admire big bona fide pop stars," she explains. As far as collaborations go, you'd never expect who the one person is she's dying to work with: "I'd really love to collaborate with Drake, among many other producers," she says. For now, however, she'd prefer to work alone to perfect her craft and find her own voice. "It's just not something that I want to do again right now," she reasons.
And though she says it's way too soon to even begin thinking about her next album, she knows she will never stop performing. "I love to see people's reactions and I love watching people sing along. That's it," she says. And in reference to her already sold-out Detroit show on the 28th, she gushes, "I'm so excited. Never in a million years would I have thought this would happen. It's a very nice feeling, basically put."
Ellie goulding 1/28, 7:30 p.m. • Royal Oak Music Theatre • 318 w Fourth street, royal oak • 248.399.2980 • royaloakmusictheatre.com