After the spectacular success of her 2010 debut Lights, and the development of a much publicised relationship with dubstep pioneer Skrillex, Ellie Goulding has seen herself thrown into the media limelight. This sets her up nicely for the release of her follow up album, Halcyon and we’re given a taster in the form of ‘Anything Could Happen’
Although, technically not the first release – dire ‘Hanging On’ featured Tinie Tempah ruining a song was a promotional single – the progression in her musical style is easy to see. The timid pianos and stripped back approach of Lights has been replaced by keyboards and a driving, darker bass. The catchy pop arrangements remain, served with a liberal dose of Auto-Tune, affecting the vocals in at least a partially beneficial way. It’s clear Goulding’s personal relationship has also become a musical one – she admits that Skrillex has ‘subconsciously’ affected her style – and while the eerie, looped voices are transformed into a warped instrumental of sorts, on the outside it’s hard to see the decision as anything but deliberate.
Getting over the transition, ‘Anything Could Happen’ is actually fairly decent and is not too far removed from her previous work. While at times, parts of the track are hard to enjoy and the single has the capacity to alienate, we’ll have to see what happens on the rest of Halcyon.