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Review: Ellie Goulding Premieres New Track 'Under Control' from Halcyon Days


Ellie Goulding has a whole lot of things to celebrate this week. She just finished up a very successful U.S. tour with Bruno Mars and her collaboration with Calvin Harris on "I Need Your Love" has hit heavy rotation on pop radio around the country. But there's more to cheer for. Today, her new single "Burn" shot straight to the top of the U.K. singles chart that marks the singer's very first number one in Britain. Following all that fantastic news, there's a lot more Goulding goodness coming with the re-release of Halcyon (titled Halcyon Days) that includes a 8 new tracks. 

Goulding has been sharing a few new songs to give people a taste of her new music and yesterday she unveiled her new song "Under Control." It's a powerful track that perfectly fit the themes on Halcyon. Much of Halcyon deals with trying to cope with a fleeting relationship while understanding that an ending also represents a new beginning filled with hope. (Like I told Ellie once, her songs can be dark, but she always sees a light at the end of the the tunnel.)

While making a lot of references to water, waves and oceans throughout the LP, she sings, "I'm not dying but I bleed now [on "My Blood"] I chase your love around a figure 8 [on "Figure 8"] You show me what it feels like to be lonely/You show me what it feels like to be lost/It's gonna be better [on "Halcyon"]." 

The new "Under Control" was written long after the Halcyon sessions but perfectly fit the album's sentiment when she sings, "I'm breathing again/I got it under control." Given the LP's water theme, it's as if Goulding tells us that she's finally coming up for air freed from the dark depths of the ocean.

It's a gorgeous tune that was written by Goulding together with emerging pop starlet Bonnie McKee, her boyfriend Oliver Goldstein (from synth-pop duo Oliver) and Cory Nitta. The track was produced by Oliver Goldstein who has done a superb job adding a little crunch to the soaring tune.

In a new interview with GRAMMY.com, Goulding shares that writing music is very instinctive and is hard to put into words. "I write things out and I look back and I can't believe what I've written," she says. "Some stuff is quite dark and quite metaphorical. I write things that are literal, but that have surreal quality as well (. . .) Themes that quite often come up include loneliness and loss of something or someone."

Other tracks to to look out for on Halcyon Days include "Goodness Gracious" (written by Nate Ruess), "Hearts Without Chains" (co-written by Fraser T Smith), "Flashlight" (produced by DJ Fresh) and "Stay Awake" (produced by Madeon). Also, look for "You My Everything" that was co-written by Jim Eliot with whom Ellie worked on Halcyon. That LP will be released on August 27 via Cherrytree Records/Interscope.

August 18, 2013 | Permalink