A British import who contagiously flirts with dynamic pop sensibility, Ellie Goulding has a knack for transforming bedroom daydreams into riveting gallery art. While her sophomore release is more of a dim affair next to Lights, the record nurtures a brood of styles and convinces authenticity to implode as the 25-year-old’s voice holds a tendency to kill softly from end to end. Halcyon’s impending doom on pop lies in Goulding’s vocal raid that between gloomy sophistication (“My Blood”, “Joy”) and the softened hit of the title track, turns a hook into an outbreak of passion and even makes a mix of hazy atmospherics, grim folk and glittery electronica (“Don’t Say A Word”) completely natural. Lyrically, she’s always been able to befriend throbbing instrumentation with the marvels and hardships of love but her gift to confine it in a daytripping electro soul tune like “Only You” is what pulls you in. Goulding’s poetic romanticism will never perish because in the right context, Halcyon shows she will always be able to build or re-work a song with a voice that dismantles misery and whispers sweet nothings like the sensitive side of a beating heart.
Download: “Only You”, “My Blood”, “Hanging On”, “Atlantis”
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