Ellie Goulding Releases New Album “Higher Than Heaven”
British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding released the fifth studio album “Higher Than Heaven” on April 7, 2023 via Polydor Records.
Initially, the album was supposed to be released February 3, 2023, finally was released on April 7th after two delays.
It is her first album in three years since the 2020 album “Brightest Blue”.
The album comprises 11-track (deluxe edition 16-track), featuring guest appearance from American rapper Big Sean.
She made the album after the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Ellie Goulding said, “There was definitely a darkness about [the past two years] that was palpable in the studio, with everyone having gone through it differently.”
The sound of the album is a dance music, produced by The 23rd, Greg Kurstin, Koz, Lostboy, Happy Perez, Jesse Shatkin, watt, and Andrew Wells.
She said, “I'd say it's definitely more veering towards a dance album. It's got the eighties influences, and then it also has a bit of disco influence. I worked with producers that I love for the way that they really appreciate music in the past, especially in that kind of eighties and early nineties era, but then also just have this really great sensibility of pop in the now and their interpretation of it.”
Ellie Goulding told Apple Music, “I'm assertive in a studio, and I believe in trial and error, collaboration, being kind, and staying open-minded. I wanted this album to be universal. I love self-indulgent, poetic lyrics, but I consciously wanted there to be a simplicity to the lyrics and the scenarios. There's a beauty to that. And there's a power in ignoring the people that hint that maybe you need to start doing this or that. It's so often a thing for female artists to have to invent alter egos or change their image or move into totally different genres or try and prove to people, 'Here I am. I'm new and shiny again.' I'm like, 'No, I make good pop records and here I'm just going to keep doing what I love.'”
Ellie Goulding explained track-by-track for the album via Apple Music.
“I made this one with Koz [Stephen Kozmeniuk]—he did the track and we did the lyrics together. It's about the dream of love and fire and passion and infatuation. It's about that all-encompassing feeling when love takes over you and you're living in this dream world.”
“Cure for Love”
“Sometimes I hear a track and something just clicks in my head and I know what to write almost instantly. I wonder if it's the years growing up listening to BBC Radio 1 and hearing so much pop, pop, pop—plus dance. I just love to really meticulously write a song that is perfect to listen to.”
“By the End of the Night”
“Quite an '80s-inspired song, and we reach a point of hyper-realness here. 'By the end of the night, I want to feel like the sky is dripping on every part of me.' It's beginning to get a little surreal and on another planet. The lyrics couldn't be more gushing over this collision of love.”
“Like a Saviour”
“I was initially kind of torn over the fluty bits on this song, but then realized it's quite 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!' by ABBA. It's a cool thing to be able to connect new stuff with an iconic tune. This song's proof that the songs on this album can still go back to being songs, if you know what I mean. When you play them just from piano or guitar, you know it's a song and not just my voice and lots of other things going on—which can disguise something as a song. I don't know what came over me with the 'spinning in your starlight' lyric, but the idea that you could just be saved by one person is nice to think about.”
“Love Goes On”
“This is the first Greg Kurstin song on the album. He has a pop sensibility for sure—he really appreciates and respects pop music—but then he has such a taste for electronic sound where everything is such quality. And this is from someone who's an electronic music fiend. I'm no Björk, but I happen to think my electronic music playlist is quite elite.”
“Easy Lover” featuring Big Sean
“Another song with Greg—and with the brilliant Julia Michaels, too. She's an emo like me. We're two girls that have been falling in love and getting our hearts broken forever and just love to write about it. She's such a professional, and knows that real feelings and real universal things should not be compromised by trying to write a good pop song. This song was charged up by Greg, who came up with the drums and guitar parts, which eventually became a bit MGMT-inspired on Greg's part. And Big Sean's verse works really well.”
“Higher Than Heaven”
“No other title could've been better to use for the album to describe what's going on here—which is just high-as-a-kite feelings of love and infatuation and you're not coming back down anytime soon. I really like this song because it's bloody high to sing but it just feels so sensual and so passionate.”
“Let It Die”
“Here, I had this idea of somebody unable to feel strong enough to leave a relationship. I love the idea of preaching to them—really preaching—to let it die, to just finish it. It's going to be shit for a while, but you've got to cut it off.”
“Waiting for It”
“It's just a song about sex. There's not really much else to it. I was giggling in the booth as it's not really my thing to be singing, 'Everybody talking 'cause we started something/We can fuck the world away.' It's that escape of something being so sexually electric and powerful. It's definitely more R&B-inspired. My first concert was Craig David, my most worn-out CD was by Lauryn Hill, then it was Alicia Keys, then it was Destiny's Child. And so there was something about this song that I just loved to sing.”
“Just for You”
“Greg, Julia, and I wrote 'Easy Lover' on our first day and this on our second. Lyrically it felt a little indulgent—I mean, 'It took somebody else to make me realize how much my heart only beats for you.' God!—but it was Drake-inspired. Julia and I were both mad on Drake at the time, and we just thought we could hear Drake singing it. The vocal melodies are also quite unusual here, because with Greg, I know that he'll take my voice and sample it and put it all over the place. So these melodies come from me knowing I can be really free and experimental.”
“It was very special to work with Ali Tamposi—an amazing songwriter with a beautiful and an unusual instinct for melody. This is a very challenging song to sing, which I love. It belongs in another universe where I'm singing about somebody who I think is probably missing me. Quite presumptuous. It's about returning to old habits and being stuck in a vicious cycle with someone. It feels like young love, and I miss those days. Actually, do I miss them? Maybe not.”
“Very intentional '80s vibes here. It was so silly, the process was incredibly fun and indulgent in the best way, but once we were finished we looked at each other and all said, 'Shit, this is quite good.' There's a little gender misdirect in the lyrics, which I enjoyed writing too.”
“Greg and I did this one at the same time as 'Love Goes On.' We were in a very big Janet Jackson phase—a lot of The Weeknd, too. That clear urgency is something I feel very good when singing with.”
“Tastes Like You”
“This is probably going slightly back to old Ellie, as a few fans who've heard it have said. I feel like 'Heartache still tastes like you' is a great lyric. Someone said it sounds like I sampled Nelly with the 'Oh!' but that wasn't intentional, I promise.”
“I'm forever inspired by that clip of Cher on Oprah [in 1990] saying, 'I'm very gentle, I'm really sweet, but if you fuck with me, I'd really mop the floor with you.' That's the essence of this song. It's really important for a woman to have that, especially in this industry. You've got to feel like there is a power there, and that you have an inner strength.”
“All By Myself” with Alok and Sigala
“I enjoy the meaning here. I'm doing it by myself; I've been my own motivation. I didn't necessarily intend on it being a big dance record, but we were messing around in the studio and everybody loved it. I think there are a few Depeche Mode fans that aren't keen on us using the ['Enjoy the Silence'] sample, but you can't please everyone.”
Photo by Sarah Krick
- source : Apple Music