Ellie Goulding often defies labels. The singer-songwriter’s sound has been described as everything from electro-pop to synth rock to folk, and her music has earned herself many fans from all over the world. Dressed in a sheer black ensemble paired with a studded jacket, which she removed after confessing that the jacket was a stylish but impractical decision, Goulding’s style is a mélange of funky and a little bit of quirky, much like her eclectic musicality.
Following the success of Goulding’s debut album, Bright Lights, which produced unforgettable hits “Lights” and “Starry Eyed”, sophomore album, Halcyon, is lauded to be a “journey from dark into light from confusion to understanding” in the very words of the British songstress. The approximately 90 minute showcase featured songs from both albums backed by harmonic vocal tracks and a band on keys, drums and guitars. Goulding also played the drums and occasionally incorporated the synthesizer to achieve vocal effects on songs “Hanging On” and “Anything Could Happen”.
Ellie was in Singapore for her debut concert at Esplanade Concert Hall on 26 February 2013. “Don’t Say a Word” opened the show almost as a piece of musical theatre with its eerie yet enchanting beginning which had everyone entranced. Following the first two songs came “Figure 8”, a personal favourite, which along with the demonic red lights illuminated the stage. “Anything Could Happen” which is now fast gaining popularity, was nothing short of sprightly pop with a melodic edge, and was definitely a highlight from the showcase.
Vocally, Goudling was on top form, particularly on her take on Elton John’s classic “Your Song” which showcased her angelic vocals. “I Know You Care”, a moving ballad which Goulding admitted was inspired by her relationship with her father, showed off perfectly the softer side of Goulding’s haunting vocals and soaring falsetto. The aching in her voice as the song progressed was so heartwarming that it could make even the hardest hearts melt. On her slower songs, it was apparent that Goulding’s voice, so unique and full of emotion, remains her greatest feature in remaining distinctive amongst the barrage of female solo artists currently playing on our radios.
Goulding continued to work the enthusiastic crowd with her subtle choreographed moves through songs like “Under The Sheets” and “Salt Skin”, at the same time, making an effort to connect with the audience on a more intimate setting unlike any seasoned performer would by engaging in conversation between songs. The obligatory encores and last two songs of the showcase were the Calvin Harris produced club hit, “I Need Your Love” and a Dubstep-infused remix to “Lights” which brought the house down in more ways than one, together with the choral chanting of the energetic crowd.
Though her folk roots may be a distant memory, Ellie Goulding’s music has moved into a whole new sonic dimension that we will definitely hear more of in the years to come.
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