Goulding goes ’emo’

By Kate Sedgwick

Imagine listening to an album where the flow of the songs gives off the impression of paging through someone’s personal diary. Ellie Goulding’s album, ‘Halcyon’ released in 2011 does exactly that, engaging her listeners in her personal experiences and life, giving each individual something to relate to.

This exciting album is a definite juxtaposition with its gentle tones, yet stomping beat carrying through the messages of love and heartbreak. The center piece of this album is her voice which expresses much darker beats and lyrics, probably an influence from her boyfriend Skrillex.

The first track on the album, ‘Don’t say a word’ sets the tone through the use of a two-minute mood- building piece of ethereal music, before Goulding actually starts with any lyrics. Her use of more earthly-bound instruments such as the piano and drums creates a haunting effect when mixed with her signature airy vocals. From this very first song, we are put into a trance as Gouldings voice floats into our consciousness, preparing us for the journey of her album.

‘My Blood’, another one of the album’s powerful songs has a quality about it, much like that of Florence and the Machine which is created through the use of the drums. The chilling lyrics are used to tell the story of the blood which Goulding lost for a particular someone. This starts off the albums journey from dark to light and from confusion to understanding. The songs become more ‘light’ through the use of some dubstep and dream pop.

What make this album unique are the quirky lyrics and the fact that the songs are so rough around the edges. Goulding has made sure that ‘Halcyon’ has something for everyone and I would definitely say that it’s one of those albums to be pulled out a rainy day. While some people may find it hard to accept Goulding’s new ’emo’ approach to her music, others find it a good release and something to which they can relate.

Personally, I strongly recommend a listen to all those music lovers out there, looking for something fresh, different and entertaining. Allow ‘Halcyon’ to take you on Goulding’s journey and use the opportunity to get in touch with your more emotional side to do some soul searching.


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