CD REVIEW: Bright Lights - Ellie Goulding

English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding released her highly acclaimed CD Lights in 2010, and now this album is re-released as Bright Lights, including six brand-new tracks. It has so far produced two additional singles, those being a cover of Elton John's "Your Song" and the title track "Lights". Following the re-release, the album saw a surge in sales in both the UK and Ireland. Ellie Goulding is a complicated thing in a seemingly simple package. Her songs are built around big proper tunes that lift you up and spin you round, yet there’s something off-centre about them, something sparkly, filmic, haunting, odd. She mixes heartfelt emotion with other-worldly atmospherics, spins cool electronica into dreamy warmth.
Ellie’s sound is given an extra twist by her voice, an unusual, warbling instrument that recalls The Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Frazer: “though I mostly get compared to Kate Bush or Bj√∂rk,” she says, “only because people think, Ooh, it’s pop but it’s a little bit weird! I don’t know who I sound like because I tried to sound like so many people when I was starting out. I taught myself to sing, like I taught myself to play guitar. Like I taught myself to speak, too!”
“I like simplicity,” she says, “which is why I’m not afraid of pop, or dance music. I just look for the hook, the centre. And it can be the words or the melody, just the one thing that can relate to everyone. Even in alternative music, or classical, if it’s good, there will be something direct about it. But I also like to dig deep when it comes to lyrics. I’m aware of how I’m feeling all the time, so it’s impossible for me to write words that are contrived or meaningless.”