Ellie Goulding may have released her cover of Alt-J’s “Tessellate” relatively quietly on Tuesday morning, but the indie blogosphere instantly exploded in loud and affectionate applause. Praised for its sexy and silky sound, Goulding’s version takes the British band’s An Awesome Wave hit and turns it on its indie-rock head — and shows off a never-before-heard side of the Halcyon singer.
And when MTV News caught up with Goulding at this year’s Hangout Festival, she made it clear that “different” is exactly what she was going for.
“I’m really excited about it because it’s not what you’d expect,” Goulding told us on the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama. “It’s a completely different version of the song. … It’s not what you’d expect from me.”
Unexpected, indeed. Her take on “Tessellate” abandons the get-up-and-go of “Anything Could Happen” and the steady beat of “Lights” and slows it down to focus on her sultry falsetto. And when sexy saxophone croons along with her, Goulding’s pleas to “let’s tessellate” become just that much more persuasive.
She admitted that she listened to the track “constantly” when An Awesome Wave was first released last May. But apart from its pure intricacy and ability, in her opinion, to “be literally in any kind of context,” there may be one line in particular line that connected her to the song: “Triangles are my favorite shape/ Three points where two lines meet/ Toe to toe, back to back, let’s go my love.”
Golding is well known for her knack for triangles — just look at her arm tattoo for proof — but she took her time with us to make one thing very clear: No matter what people might think, it’s not because she’s part of the Illuminati. Instead, it represents a “very personal childhood thing.”
On top of this latest release, Goulding teased yet another cover on the horizon, but remained mum on the details. What she did tell us is that it’s an ’80s track. But judging from “Tessellate,” there’s no telling what we’re in for.