If the name Ellie Goulding means nothing to you, maybe the phrase “You show the lights that stop me turn to stone. You shine it when I’m alone” will give you an idea of whom I am speaking.
In actuality, Ms Goulding and that catchy number have been around for a while. So long in fact, that her long-awaited sophomore release, Halcyon, came out last month. Following a great deal of success in her native land, the United Kingdom, the decision was made in 2011 that Goulding would invade North America.
Despite her arrival last year, many did not discover her hit “Lights” until this summer. This is because the song is quite literally one of the biggest sleeper hits of all time. It made Billboard Hot 100 history by achieving the longest climb to the top five not aided by re-release. Which is a long-winded way of saying that it took the song 29 weeks to climb from its debut position at Number 85 to its peak at Number 2.
I sat down with Goulding backstage at the Sound Academy a few weeks ago to chat about her newfound success.
“Seems I peak at Number two a lot, huh?” she laughed, referring to Halcyon, which was set to debut at Number 1 in the United Kingdom that day, only to get bumped at the last second. She clarified: “God, I need to stop joking about that. It’s amazing! I’m lucky enough to be in the top five.”
Members of the band Mumford & Sons, which bumped her, are good friends. She says she’s proud, but it will probably be awkward the next time they hang out. All jokes aside, Goulding is very proud of her album and its chart success.
She recorded the album in a barn in the English countryside, giving it what she calls “great barn vibes.” When asked about the pressure of creating a new record, she explained, “Lights” was really special to me, but at the same time I always thought there was another dimension . . . and Halcyon has done that for me and I will be committed to this record for however long it lasts.”
Between wasp scares and some gushing on my part, we also got to talk about her budding relationship with dub-step artist Skrillex. On the topic of collaborations, she pointed out, “We already have a song we did together for the Twilight soundtrack, and that’s it for now, but I’m sure there will be some more stuff.” And despite the difference in genres between the two artists, she was sure they’d work fine together.
Since we spoke, Halcyon debuted at Number 8 in Canada, smashing her debut’s performance in the North American charts and solidifying Ellie Goulding as a worldwide artist.