It was back in March 2010 when I first heard the music of Ellie Goulding when she was invited on to The Late Late Show on RTÉ to perform her breakout single Starry Eyed. From the moment I heard the song I was intrigued to hear more. Goulding’s voice was something that immediately stood out to me, it sounded raw and unpolished, like Goulding was still trying to find her natural singing voice, which helped it to stand out as something different from the majority of other female voices that had been getting exhaustive radio play at the time. This raw vocal quality is something that Goulding has managed to hold on to ever since.
Goulding would sign for Polydor Records in July 2009, and early 2010 would see Goulding release her debut album, Lights, which would later be re-released as a deluxe edition later in the same year as Bright Lights. Bright Lights would be accompanied with a studio cover of Elton John’s song, Your Song, a single that would be a chart success for Goulding and would challenge for UK and Ireland Christmas number 1 for 2010.
Goulding would proceed to spend 2011 touring and collaborating with other artists, before returning in October 2012 with the release of her second LP, Halcyon, which would be proceeded by the single Anything Could Happen, a song that would be successful in getting extensive radio play and bringing the music of Goulding to a wider audience with the more synthesiser-based sound a noticeable change from what was heard on Bright Lights.
Goulding would go on to re-release a deluxe version of Halcyon, titled Halcyon Days in August of 2013, which was proceeded by the release of the single Burn. This song would be a massive commercial success for Goulding and would become the soundtrack of that summer.
Summer 2013 would also mark the release of a stand alone single by Goulding, You, My Everything, written for the soundtrack of the popular UK TV show, Skins. An angry and intense love song about giving everything to a romantic partner and then being jilted, it remains this writers favourite release to date by Goulding.
While Goulding would busy herself in the aftermath of Halcyon Days working on collaborations with other writers, and releasing singles such as Love Me Like You Do, which would feature on the soundtrack of Fifty Shades of Grey, it would be September 2015 before fans would hear news of another LP from the English singer/songwriter. Delirium would be launched in November 2015 after being proceeded by the single, On My Mind, and would mark another step forward in the ever developing sound of Ellie Goulding’s song writing.
Elena Jane Goulding’s talent was obvious from an early stage, as demonstrated by the vast number of early demos that can be found on YouTube and the various Ellie Goulding fan accounts on tumblr. Among these recordings is a cover version of the hit song from 2008 by Australian recording artist Sam Sparro, Black and Gold, recorded in her bedroom, which remains this writers favourite ever cover of any song by any artist.
Her evolution from tender folk artist who dabbled with electronic sounds into fully fledged pop icon will have come as a surprise to some. The global star currently selling out stadiums around the world seems like a far throw from the 22 year old who emerged in 2009.
But through intense work in the studio and compelling live shows, Goulding has slowly built her way from “folktronica” artist to one of the biggest popstars on the circuit at the moment. However, the road has not been completely smooth for Goulding. She has spoken about suffering from acute anxiety and confidence problems at the beginning of her career, which reached their peak when her single, Lights, shot her to fame in 2010. Goulding has talked about how she turned to fitness to combat these problems, and indeed Goulding’s relationship with fitness has become one of the things that she is now associated with, being a regular participant in the Bupa Great North Run. But in recent years Goulding has seemingly settled into her role as global superstar, and shows no signs of slowing down.
“Anything could happen…”