Ellie Goulding has just released her highly anticipated fifth album. Is titled higher than the sky and with it, the artist not only introduces us to a world of dance pop in which to use the dance floor, but she has also been able to create a parallel universe full of alter egos with which to explore other versions of herself.
Despite the various postponements -for compelling reasons- that the release of this album has undergone, throughout these months we have been able to see progress of all kinds.. Falls in love easily was the first – released in July 2022 – and since then we’ve heard up to four more pills from the hand of All alone, let it die, Like a Savior there At the end of the night.
About the inspiration behind this project and its songs, the art that goes into the album, and protecting the environment, among other topics, we got to chat with Ellie Goulding herself at LOS40.
Question (Q): What is the concept behind this work?
Answer (A): “The truth is, I didn’t start the album with a concept. Rather, it is a selection of songs that emerged after the quarantine. It started as a kind of experiment into the world of dance, the world of dance/pop and it ended up being something that we all had fun with and gave us life, energy… This is something that we naturally leaned towards after the pandemic. .. And that’s when the concept became get lost in this kind of alternate universe of dance, love and freedom, joy and happiness. From being static to feeling levitated with your feet on the ground.
Q: You say that this album is an escape from the reality of the past two years, and that you have created various alter egos along the way. Did you find inspiration in a particular fictional character or archetype?
A: I guess I felt inspired by characters from books. I read a lot of fiction and recently I read Deborah Levy, Lisa Taddeo —whom I love—… And I just started reading A girl’s storyby Annie Ernaux.
I want to get to know all these strong female characters and protagonists in depth, through reading, made me feel and discover some of my own feelings — those that only a woman can know: those that she hides in secret, or that she has no right to confess, or those that she cannot be honest about because she does not feel up to it. ‘easy. And that was a way of validating those feelings, which positively boosted my confidence as a songwriter and interpreter (on the scene). The reason for this tendency to create different characters is that it has a strong liberating component. It’s liberating to be a different person to have spent so much time with myself, to maintain myself and always play the right role.
Now I can explore different versions of myself in these kinds of characters.
Without her, I would never have reconsidered a change of style in my wardrobe, in my performances, in my staging or in my videos… because I used to be a very purist when it came to music and now I can explore different versions of myself in those kinds of characters.
I think there’s kind of a revolution in the way we women are increasingly feeling comfortable — and non-binary people too — talking about unique and very personal experiences. And I think from now on, all of this is going to help me become a better songwriter and not worry about what other people think.
Q: The first time you delayed the release of the album, you said it was because there were “exciting opportunities behind the scenes”. What kind of opportunities?
A: It was probably more exciting for me than for anyone else… One of those opportunities was that we nailed the packaging of the record, because we wanted to make a more environmentally friendly format. environment, with biodegradable plastic and recycled carbon. Apart from that, I was involved in other projects, I had to work on my acting side… Right now I can tell you a lot about that, but I’ve been incredibly busy. I feel like the next few years are going to be crazy, but I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.
Q: Has the project changed a lot since the release of the first single, Falls in love easily?
A: Oh my God, yes! It seems like Falls in love easily came out years ago I had this song in my room and wanted to release it for a long time and now it’s a favorite of fans, friends and family. Everyone had it in mind even before its official release.
It’s a song that I wanted to show the world and which, apart from that, I think it stands on its own as a brilliant pop track, with the guitar influences of the genius of Greg Kurstin, his intuition and his unique style as a producer… Mixing all these good elements, with the talent of Julia Michaels, was child’s play for me.
Fashion is the most polluting industry in the world, so from now on I will be very careful about what I wear.
Q: What is the ideal atmosphere to listen to this new album?
A: Honestly, it’s the perfect album to come out of a bad patch, a bad mood.
Q: The title of the album is higher than the sky, but the album cover shows you underwater. I feel like there’s irony in that choice, don’t you? Why did you choose this type of art?
A: I really didn’t want to make it look like it was underwater; I want to convey that I am on another planet, in another dimension. And leave the mystery in the air: “What is paradise? West? What does mean?’ Because I think the concept of “heaven” has different meanings for different people… And I personally feel comfortable underwater; this medium is my place in heaven.
Someone recently asked me if I got stoned making the record, and I said, “No…I wish so!” She was pregnant, actually, so that would have been a problem. So finally represents as a place of euphoria or whatever for each person.
Q: Do you plan to do an international tour? How would you plan it, considering you would have to take multiple flights and in some ways it harms the planet?
A: Yes, we are still arranging it. If I could, I would never enjoy flying again. I hate flying. I hate it, because most of the time I suffer from high levels of anxiety. It doesn’t come naturally to me; I feel like people aren’t designed to fly. Attention, I am not saying that I do not like heights; heights don’t scare me. Regarding flights, we will try to take the train or other means of transport as much as possible. But what I do (and will do), concerning climate change, is to wear clothes that I have already worn before or with eco-responsible materials, because the textile industry is the most polluting in the world. ; no flights, no mail, no cars… It’s fashion, with all the water it takes, the materials that are used, so I’m going to be very careful with the clothes I wear now.
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