Last month, Ellie Goulding shared a new cover of “River,” originally from Joni Mitchell’s 1971 album, Blue. Ellie’s cover was exclusively released by Amazon Music, but now it gets a wider release with its new music video. “River” has often been used as a holiday song, thanks to its Christmas-referencing first line. Indeed, it has appeared on numerous holiday albums over the years, covered by the likes of Barry Manilow, James Taylor, Sarah McLachlan, and Sara Bareilles.
Ellie’s rendition of “River” is gentle and understated, allowing her sweet voice to shine. It’s reminiscent of her covers of Elton John’s “Your Song” and The Waterboys’ “How Long Will I Love You.” The simple yet breathtaking arrangement puts the spotlight on the song’s lyrics and Ellie’s vocals, making for a more connected and intimate performance. Some songs sound best without all the big production. With just piano to join her, Ellie’s cover of “River” is beautiful.
The accompanying music video is similarly simplistic. Ellie joins a group of people collecting garbage off the beach and out of the water. They refashion this trash into a colorful Christmas tree, not only helping the environment, but also making something beautiful for all to enjoy. It communicates the spirit of the season, while also staying true to Ellie’s climate activism.
In a statement announcing the music video, Ellie shared:
Shooting the video in Dungeness was beautiful but a timely reminder that every single piece of plastic ever made is still on this planet. Plastic stuff is everywhere and our coastlines are suffering horrendously. It’s a material that will last for hundreds of years so we need to have a plan. We wanted to show something different and to incorporate a different type of Christmas message while creating something reusable and beautiful – I’m so happy that it will live on at the Village Prep School, hopefully visiting many more schools to come. I hope you all like the video
Watch Ellie Goulding’s music video for “River” below:
Ellie’s “River” cover is only available for streaming on Amazon Music. Listen here.
Ellie Goulding’s Next Album
Ellie Goulding has been teasing a new album for a couple of years now. In addition to describing it as a continuation of her Halcyon sound, Ellie has also released several new songs recently. So far we’ve gotten “Close To Me,” “Flux,” “Sixteen,” and “Hate Me,” not to mention three soundtrack songs, a lovely collaboration with Andrea Bocelli called “Return To Love,” and now this “River” cover. But even so, her actual album is still nowhere to be seen.
Ellie’s long-awaited new album will serve as the follow-up to her 2015 record, Delirium. We don’t yet have a title, tracklist, or release date for the forthcoming record. However, we expect to find out more in the new year. In an October 2018 interview, Ellie did reveal that 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.”
More recently, in an August interview with PaperMag, Ellie described her album as “very powerful” and a shift away from the sound of Delirium:
It’s written about my experiences over the past two years. It reflects on my career and this fucking mad chaos world we’re living in. It goes there, it goes really deep. I sing about becoming a woman and independence and finding a lot of love for myself, apart from – disconnected from – having a partner or needing someone…
At the time of that interview, the album wasn’t yet finished, but Ellie did say the new songs will sound most similar to “Flux.”
Looking To 2020
Enjoy Ellie Goulding’s new cover of “River,” for the holiday season and into the new year. Ellie is preparing her upcoming 4th studio album, due out sometime in 2020. Keep checking back here for all the latest music news.