Originally published October 1, 2012 – 9:29 AM MST for Examiner.com
As cliche as it may sound, Ellie Goulding’s debut album, “Lights” served to illuminate her artistry and career globally. Since it’s release, she has sung for the royal couple at their wedding reception, toured the world and received many accolades and awards. With her second studio album “Halcyon” set to be released on October 5, 2012, the nearly surreal whirlwind of activity within a span of two years seems not to have affected this quirky and well spoken singer/songwriter.
She opened her conversation with us by confessing, “‘Lights’ wasn’t a song I ever expected to be a hit. Actually, it was inspirational to me in that sense, thinking that anything is possible.” Acknowledging, “So many surreal things have happened to me in the last two years and so much cool stuff, it’s been a roller coaster of ups and downs and it’s almost hard for me to differentiate between every day because of how crazy it’s been.”
That kind of crazy viral success on a debut album can make it difficult for some to shake the pressure to reinvent a kind of mass appeal on a follow up. Not so for Ellie, “It was actually ideal for me because all I needed to say to myself was write. Stop thinking about ‘Lights’ and start thinking about new records.” She began to write explaining, “I didn’t let stuff outside of the studio affect me whatsoever on ‘Halcyon’. I really did shut myself off to keep myself grounded.” Concluding, “I wrote this album with no sort of agenda. It’s not like I wanted this album to be the biggest pop album in the world. I wanted to write something that was really true to me and something that I would be proud of and something that I would like for a long time.”
To remain unaffected and focused Goulding withdrew to seclusion. “‘Halcyon’ was done very quietly.” She told us, “I went into the studio and once the door closed everything was inside the studio. Anything emotional was just kind of locked in with me and then anything else was outside.” Finishing, “It was really the perfect situation because where the studio was out in the countryside and it was where I grew up and everything just knitted together so perfectly.”
Ellie divulged that the messages and themes that came out while penning her sophomore album took shape during a two week sabbatical, “A lot of the themes I actually began writing for this record when I was in Ireland. I was at a beautiful place by the sea and I was there by myself for a couple of weeks, just with my guitar.” Further elaborating, she explained, “The themes ended up being things like the ocean, there’s a lot of love songs and imagery of the countryside and the human body.” Noting, “I’m eternally obsessed with the human body and how it works…the human body versus human emotions I suppose, and that’s how it began.”
That being said it isn’t shocking that her favorite track currently off of “Halcyon” is entitled My Blood, “I really enjoy singing it. I’ve been singing it in rehearsals already and I really enjoy the lyrics. It creates a real powerful image.” When asked about her obsession versus her fear of the human body and the fragility of life, she candidly addressed it saying, “The fears I have I really want to confront, like to skydive and bungee jump but because I’m obsessed with my body I end up becoming afraid of dying. There is so many things, like I want to surf in the craziest places but, I’m scared of sharks. I need to be less precious with death and then I’ll start being able to do more stuff.” Ending her thought with humor and a sense of transparency, “But skydiving, if my boyfriend can bloody do it, (he’s done it twice), then I’m going to have to get out there at some point.”
As for what is next, Ellie lays out the plan, “This year is going to be some rubbish stuff like reintroducing myself to the world really, because with ‘Lights’ I was focused so much on the UK and parts of Europe that I really didn’t get a chance to go out there.” Elaborating she detailed, “The end of this year is focusing on going to parts of Australia, going back to Europe, coming to the states, doing little shows. This year is really like getting the album started and then next year will be like proper tours and more industrial stuff like festivals and the real deal.” Concluding, “I’m looking forward to next year.” And so are we!