16 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

Halcyon is the accomplished sophomore album from English singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding, and it finds her pushing in darker and more dramatic musical directions than on her incandescent debut full-length, Lights. The strutting beat of its buoyant lead single, “Anything Could Happen,” features Goulding’s inimitable gossamer vocals, but it's one of just a few upbeat tracks (the clubby “Burn” and Calvin Harris’ “I Need Your Love” are also dancefloor-ready). Halcyon seems resolute on spotlighting Goulding’s dynamic voice on midtempo tracks and ballads that alternate between piano-and-strings intimacy and thundering displays of percussive bombast, à la Florence + The Machine. Merging chamber pop with epic soundscapes and the occasional electronic flourish, Halcyon further establishes Goulding as an artist to watch.

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Halcyon is the accomplished sophomore album from English singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding, and it finds her pushing in darker and more dramatic musical directions than on her incandescent debut full-length, Lights. The strutting beat of its buoyant lead single, “Anything Could Happen,” features Goulding’s inimitable gossamer vocals, but it's one of just a few upbeat tracks (the clubby “Burn” and Calvin Harris’ “I Need Your Love” are also dancefloor-ready). Halcyon seems resolute on spotlighting Goulding’s dynamic voice on midtempo tracks and ballads that alternate between piano-and-strings intimacy and thundering displays of percussive bombast, à la Florence + The Machine. Merging chamber pop with epic soundscapes and the occasional electronic flourish, Halcyon further establishes Goulding as an artist to watch.

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
261 Ratings
261 Ratings
Pistol P123 ,

Halcyon Surprise

For the majority of us, Ellie Goulding became prominently relevant with the release of her single "Lights". With that in mind, I bought her album with the idea that all the songs would basically be the same song repeated. I was pleasantly surprised to be completely wrong :)

I was happy to find that her songs had the ability to reach a genuine level of depth & emotion while still managing to keep it's appealing Pop feel. The album primarily deals with the highs and lows of love & the pain of losing someone you thought needed the most. At times sad, Goulding knows how to bring it back to pace with songs like "Burn" & "I Need Your Love", keeping the listening full of variety.

The only things that slightly bugged me were the slightly repetitious lyrics of songs like "Atlantis" & "Anything Could Happen", & even then they were still enjoyable.

In the end, while it wasn't the perfect album, "Halcyon" has definitely given me a new interest in Goulding's work & an excitement for what's to come. If you liked "Lights", then you'll definitely like the rest of the album.

goodmusic8 ,

Best Album Ever

This is the best album I've ever heard!!! I wasn't sure if i wanted to buy it at first but you have to listen to these songs more than once to really get a feel for the album. Her songs blow my mind!!!

Elliemec: ,

Halycon!~!~!~!

I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT I LOVE IT <3 She's amazing!

About Ellie Goulding

Having caught the public's attention in 2010 with her singles "Starry Eyed" and "Guns and Horses," British vocalist Ellie Goulding quickly rose to the top of the charts with her infectious electronic pop sound. Although she started out writing songs in a folk-inflected style, she eventually grew into a more electronic-influenced artist, touching upon dance music and ambient synth pop. With her unique soprano warble and knack for writing catchy yet emotionally earnest songs, Goulding, much like her predecessors Kate Bush and Imogen Heap, stands at the forefront of contemporary mainstream music and arty, independent-minded pop.

Born in Hereford, England, she later moved to the country's east coast to study drama at the University of Kent. Goulding had developed a love for folk music as a teenager, and her time at university also exposed her to electronica. After two years, she took a break from her studies and moved to West London, where she pursued a career as an alternative singer/songwriter and befriended producers like Starsmith and Frankmusik, who gave her songs an electro-pop twist. In 2009, Goulding began building an audience via the Internet, where early tracks like "Starry Eyed" and a cover of Sam Sparro's "Black & Gold" were posted on tastemaking MP3 blogs such as Discodust. Goulding soon graduated from the blogosphere to print media, gaining praise from mainstream publications like The Guardian and fielding offers from record labels. She ultimately signed a major-label deal with Polydor Records and began making preparations to release her debut album. In the meantime, she penned songs for Diana Vickers, Gabriella Climi, and others.

During the final weeks of 2009, Goulding topped the BBC's Sound of 2010, a poll conducted by British music critics and industry insiders to identify new talent. Building on that momentum, she released Lights -- a sparkling debut album that splashed Goulding's vocal flutter across a landscape of acoustic and synthesized instruments -- in March 2010. Lights topped the U.K. charts during its first week and spun off "Starry Eyed" as a Top Five single (it also charted well in Ireland and New Zealand). Later that year, the album was re-released as Bright Lights, featuring seven new recordings (including a cover of Elton John's "Your Song," which peaked at number two).

In 2012, Goulding returned with her sophomore album, Halcyon, which showcased an even more sonically adventurous, electro-pop-infused sound. In 2013, a deluxe reissue featuring ten extra songs was released; entitled Halcyon Days, it acted as a supplement to the original release. Two of its new songs, "Burn" and "How Long Will I Love You," were among her biggest hits. The following year, she was featured on Calvin Harris' Top Ten U.K. hit "Outside," participated in Band Aid 30's update of "Do They Know It's Christmas?," and entered the U.K. Top Ten once more with "Beating Heart," a song released on the soundtrack for Divergent. Another soundtrack single, "Love Me Like You Do," added to the success of Fifty Shades of Grey in 2015.

That same year, Goulding released her third studio album, Delirium, which featured collaborations with Max Martin, Greg Kurstin, and others. The pop-leaning Delirium included the single "On My Mind" and peaked at number three on the U.S. and U.K. charts. Goulding returned in 2017 on "First Time," a collaboration with electronic producer Kygo. ~ Andrew Leahey & Jason Birchmeier

HOMETOWN
Hereford, England
GENRE
Pop
BORN
December 30, 1986

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