“I’m hoping it will make people go out and propose to their girlfriend and do that holiday they never ended up doing,” she said of the majestic pop tune. “I hope it will provoke positivity as opposed to making people really sad.”
With an apocalyptic, surf-crashing video that has her singing like an angel amid a beach infiltrated by hovering silver orbs, Goulding told MTV News the clip is about fate … or the lack thereof. “The video is about myself and I suppose … [my] love interest, you might say, [or] soul mate and we end up having an accident,” she said of the “trippy,” bone-crunching car crash that seems to end their love affair and leave them bloodied and broken. “But did we? There you go, that’s the thing. We end up having a car accident then we end up coming back to life.”
The song itself uses some images from Goulding’s childhood interspersed with some details about a friendship with an unnamed person who inspired the lyrics. “It’s a song of realization, because at the end I say, ‘I’m the girl that can give you everything you need, but actually I don’t need you necessarily,’” she explained. “It’s just about someone finding freedom in some capacity.”
After being pegged as an EDM artist with her 2010 debut, Lights, Goulding said she’s moved in a different direction with Halcyon thanks to the personal and musical growth she’s experienced in the time since.
“I’ve got more influences and different influences,” she said. “I think it’s a different sound. It is kind of a bit more tribal, a bit more anthemic.” In addition to having more piano on the tracks she recorded out in the English countryside with frequent collaborator producer Jim Eliot, she said the new disc is more or a pop record than and electronic one.
Though you won’t find any Halcyon tracks featuring her boyfriend, EDM superstar Skrillex, Goulding said the pair have recorded some unreleased music she hopes to share with fans. “Who knows where that will end up?” she said. “But we’ve definitely done some stuff together.” And she’s eager to collaborate with others in the future, including a pair of artists at the top of her wish list: Drake and Bjö.
In previous interview, Goulding has referred to Halcyon as her break-up album, drawing comparisons to fellow British singer Adele’s 21. She’s a big fan of the “Someone Like You” belter, but Ellie said her album was not inspired by Adele and wasn’t really intended to be a chronicle of a broken love affair.
“In fact, if anything, I thought, ‘this album I’m not going to talk about boys or talk about love, I’m going to talk about a different kind of love,’” she said. “I’m going to talk about other stuff. But as I started writing it … it was at a time in my life where that was happening and it ended up being an album about losing someone and breaking up with someone. But it was not my intent.”