Archive for Ellie Goulding

Review: Ellie Goulding – Halcyon

Posted in Review with tags on November 11, 2012 by softsynth

Twice this year we went into an album assuming we were going to hate it, and finding ourselves delightfully surprised. Dragonette’s utter winner of an album was one, this is the other (it should be noted, far less infrequent is the enormous hope and excitement for an album that turned out to be dreck, sadly).

We quite enjoyed Goulding’s debut, and in fact have been following her since well before even that album came out, so why the trepidation with this album? Chalk it up to the popularity syndrome. When Goulding earned her much-slogged-for success on the Billboard charts with “Lights”, she has felt very much like the latest flavour of the month (ironic, as we first wrote about her as a “Softsynth Flavour of the Week” some time ago…). She was starting to be compared with the likes of Adele vis-a-vis her future inevitable chart longevity, and that rarely bodes well for an artist whose sense of quirk is such a defining characteristic. Continue reading

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Hating success

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on August 1, 2012 by softsynth

Every musical artist aspires to success naturally. Whether it’s artistic success in the form of positive reviews, or fans who “get” what they’re going for or financial success in the form of records or downloads sold or attendance at live shows. It’s a natural desire for anyone who endeavours to be an artist, even if just so one can afford to pursue their passion full-time.

When this blog launched some years ago it was with the mandate of exploring electronic music – all electronic music. Not just alterative but mainstream electronic artists as well. Now this blogger’s personal tastes run toward the more alternative, certainly toward the darker reaches of the genre, but we have endeavoured to bring a certain degree of equanimity to the proceedings. So we will discuss that electronic album Christina Auguilara took on, or U2’s dance with the gadgets, or even Black Eyed Peas more hardcore attempts at pure electronica (search them out on the blog if you like). We attempt to take it all on, the electronic community is a wide and varied one.

So why is it that not just this blogger but so many in the community view commercial success with a degree of suspicion?  Continue reading

Review: Ellie Goulding – Lights

Posted in Review with tags , on March 9, 2010 by softsynth

Ellie Goulding’s impressive UK chart success is further evidence of our oft-suggested mainstream embracing of electronic music. While many may take a cursary glance over Goulding’s impressive debut album and just think “pop” they would be mistaken by not digging further. She first came to our attention when she opened for Little Boots on her recent tour and what started as a folk-influenced singer songwriter has emerged as a full-fledged creative electronic artist. The folk influence is still there but it’s the powerful synths that stand out here.

It’s actually somewhat surprising that this album has been so widely embraced, at least in her home country. While lyrically it’s far from subversive stuff, with its typical love songs, the music is wonderfully layered in a way we’re not used to seeing on the main stream charts these days. Continue reading

Electronic music in 2010

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2009 by softsynth

While not quite the promising bounty with which we were able to look toward 2009 this time last year we can look to the year ahead at a number of very exciting new releases. Goldfrapp’s 5th album is the big deal news around these here parts but we can also look forward to new material from the liked of De/Vision, Diorama, Michigan (rumoured), Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Iris, Covenant, Ashbury Heights, Android Lust, Birthday Massacre, i:scintilla, Conjure One, LCD Soundsystem, Unter Null, Miss FD, Suicide Commando, Distain, Hot Chip, Ellie Goulding and the weirdness that is Ladytron…in the form of producers for Christina Augilara (which makes Softsynth’s virtual head ache with trying to envision the results of this collaboration).

As we look forward to the new year the wheel keeps on turning and lots of great stuff to come…

The Softsynth 2009 Playlist (songs of the year ’09)

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2009 by softsynth

So this will be the last in the long line of “lists” for the year. We had mused about doing up a “best singles of the year list”

and were both overwhelmed by the task at hand and felt persnickety about the notion of being limited to just singles.

The era of the single is definitely upon us what with the death of the CD as the last remaining form of “physical” music and the growth of iTunes culture, but damn it, Softsynth is a creature from the age of album appreciation and the best songs are so often not the tracks sent out to be appreciated by the masses, but those that remain buried in the outer confines of an album. (That said many of the best songs

released there were, indeed, singles, so we’re not limiting ourselves here). It’s what made for the great mixed tapes of yore. (And for those of a certain age, too young for the pure album era of the 70s, but older than those who know only the MP3 era, the mixed tape was a crucial part of our musical upbringing. we created our own playlists, as a kind of precursor to the era we increasingly find ourselves in today via one-off MP3 downloads, but with tracks culled from albums or singles as we saw fit, depending on our mood at a given time.)

This is literally the only time through the year that we open things up to acknowledge the best stuff from various genres, not just electronic music (and in our next post we will revisit the question of what exactly constitutes so-called “electronic music”).We will paint with a wider brush just to fully colour in the year. So away we go, the singles of the year, er, songs of the year, uh…no, the “2009 Softsynth playlist”…

Continue reading

Ellie Goulding Softsynth’s newest flavour of the week

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on November 14, 2009 by softsynth

Great Britain’s Ellie Goulding has been a lovely addition to the Softsynth library of late. Still bubbling under the surface we expect to be hearing a lot more from her. Her new single, “Under the Sheets” is now out, along with her first proper video and it’s a bit of a new direction from her. Most of her work has a folk influence while this one is pretty straight forward electro-pop but she does it oh so well. She’s opening for Little Boots on tour currently and we look forward to hearing lots more from this enjoyable new addition to the electronic family…

Watch: Under the Sheets