Ellie Goulding is finally having a moment. After seemingly endless attempts to break the U.S. with debut album Lights–it’s been out since 2010–she cracked the top ten here with “Lights” largely thanks to a remix by Lady Gaga producer Fernando Garibay that made it sound like a Born This Way bonus track. That in itself is impressive enough–Garibay’s not exactly prolific on the charts outside the Gagaverse–and we’re equally impressed by the track she’s released, “Hanging On.” Listen below.
Now, it’s primer time. “Hanging On” is…
- A cover. Specifically, of electronic artist and M83 opener Active Child. It’s Goulding’s second interesting cover choice recently, and she does to it roughly what she did to The Weeknd’s track: pinging vocals, soprano coos, textures you could plausibly call dubstep. (Maybe all that time hanging out with beau Skrillex influenced her?) It all sounds great, and it’s even better that she’s peaking just when she’s getting intriguing.
- Very British. Normally that shouldn’t be surprising, considering that both Goulding and Tinie are, in fact, British artists. And we realize we’re using the term “British” to describe a cover of an American guy’s song. But just listen to it; Goulding’s version is more like something Delilah or Jess Mills would sing, or something Chase & Status would produce.
- Something with Tinie Tempah on it. Oh well. He’s much less obnoxious here than he’s been on certain other guest verses.
- Excellent. Now that Lights has finally succeeded, when can we get the follow-up? If Goulding’s recent work is any indication, it could be fantastic.