Ellie Goulding’s Earlier Acoustic Music Is Mesmerizing

Before Ellie Goulding burst onto the American pop scene with sizzling dance grooves, she was a rising British singer. That early work by Ellie Goulding, some of it expressed through the videos you find here, would eventually lead into her more recent chart-topping hits as an electronic dance diva in America, most notably “Lights” and “Burn.”

The Telegraph reports how the heavy electro sound Goulding favored that never totally caught on with British audiences managed to start an immense spreading flame in the United States, but it took time. Eventually, America would fully grow to embrace her. Working on the American scene would offer Goulding further success.

Ellie played clarinet in high school, but as a singer she is self-taught. Ellie trained herself by singing along to the radio and listening to singers. It’s evident Bjork is a major influence in her sound. They both have a voice reminiscent of a mouse trying to sing from a mountaintop.

Goulding spoke to OUT about when Bjork provided the turning point in deciding on a career in singing.

“Everything made sense to me when I heard her. My love of classical music, my love of electronic music, my love of pop music, even my heavy metal phase through ‘Army of Me’ — all of it came together through Björk. ‘Big Time Sensuality’? There you have it. There’s everything in that song. It made me think, F*ck, this is what I’m going to do.”

Another starting point for Ellie was her father, who played in local bands. He passed on his affection for the guitar to her before walking out on the family when she was 5. Goulding told Mirror Online of his impact.

“I taught myself to play the guitar to impress a boy. I wrote my first love song because of him. It was called ‘Us Alone.’ My dad played a guitar in bands and that part of him was passed on to me. I soon forgot about the boy and liked the guitar.”

Thoughts of Dad still trouble Ellie Goulding. Performing provides therapy. She had a very hard time learning to trust men. Ellie still doesn’t understand her father’s motives for leaving, nor the many confused years that followed during her upbringing in a poorer part of England. Fortunately, music-making would offer Ellie another option.

When she’s not thinking about her next album, Ellie Goulding is hooking up Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris, fighting women in “Bad Blood,” and deleting unflattering Instagram uploads.

[Photo by Alex Huckle/Getty Images]