It’s been three long years since Ellie Goulding’s last album, Delirium, graced our ears. She’s released a handful of songs since then, but spent much of her time living life. Last year she began working on new music, and today fans get to hear the first new song from her upcoming album. “Close To Me” is an upbeat, tongue-in-cheek banger featuring Swae Lee, which Ellie wrote with Diplo.
“Close To Me” is a couples anthem that introverts can relate to. Over electronic beats and acoustic guitars, Ellie sings about the eccentricities she and her lover share. They may hate being around people, but they love each other’s company. They’re independent, wild animals, yet they fit together perfectly. Swae Lee sings the second verse, putting his own spin on the bond between individualistic partners. It’s a carefree, fun song that is instantly delightful.
Listen to “Close To Me” below:
In a new interview with Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1’s “Hottest Record in the World” program, Ellie talked about the song. She wrote “Close To Me” about six months ago before getting Diplo involved on it. It’s the second song the pair have worked on together, after “Powerful” with his group, Major Lazer. Swae Lee then added his verse to the song, which Ellie thought sounded perfect. She hasn’t actually met Swae Lee yet, even after he rapped on “Close To Me” – that’s just the way the music industry works sometimes!
Ellie also spoke about the last few years. As she explains in the interview, she was pretty tired after Delirium. She’d released three albums back-to-back, and simply needed some time to recharge. She started cooking, moved to New York, and even got engaged. Even during her break, though, Ellie did put out some music here and there. In 2016, her single “Still Falling For You” appeared in the movie Bridget Jones’s Baby. Last year, Ellie teamed up with Kygo on a song called “First Time.” Ellie released a cover of “O Holy Night” in time for the 2017 holiday season, and shared a cover of Don McLean’s “Vincent” earlier this year. Even on her breaks, Ellie keeps pretty busy.
After discussing her personal life, the interview turned to Ellie’s new music. She started writing off and on while living in New York, without too much pressure weighing on her. Following the break, she’s now ready to get back out there. She has “a bunch of songs that I’m really happy with.”
Ellie says “Close To Me” is more carefree and happy than other songs she’s written for her upcoming album. Indeed, it’s not that reflective of the rest of the album. Most of the songs she’s written are quite sad, written about things that have built up over the years. Luckily they’re “not reflective” of how Ellie currently feels. In contrast to previous records, Ellie’s new songs talk about “quite specific things that have happened in my life, and something specific that happened to a friend of mine.” The next song Ellie hopes to release is particularly sad, and those she’s shared it with have cried upon hearing it. Get ready to need tissues once single two is out!
Ellie added that her voice is what weaves it all together:
In this record particularly it’s… I hate saying “raw,” but it’s like it’s out there and it’s got nothing to hide behind. You can’t escape what I’m trying to say. I think it’s really important. And it’s nice to be able to hear my voice, because I’ve always had different soundscapes and different backdrops to my voice, but I think people forget that I’m a vocalist, I’m a singer, and that’s always kind of been my thing. I like to use it as an instrument. I feel like my voice is still kind of marmite, you know, some people are not into it, and for some people it really resonates. So I’ve been able to be really instrumental with it.
I also have played a lot of instruments on this record as well. I love bass at the moment… and I play guitar, drums, and piano. A bit of everything.
It’s great to hear the new lyrical themes and how Ellie is using her voice differently on the upcoming album. It will also be exciting to hear her playing different instruments! She shared a lot of information in her new interview. Listen to the full interview on BBC Radio 1’s “Hottest Record in the World” below:
Keep enjoying “Close To Me,” and look out for album news soon. Keep checking back here for all the latest Ellie Goulding music news.