Category: Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding hopes to duplicate U.K. success stateside

Ellie Ellie Goulding is fully aware that she needs to make as much noise in the United States as she did in her native United Kingdom.

Impacting the U.S. music scene is the rightful next step for any import artist, and she’s fine with it -- as long as it’s on her terms.

“There are always expectations of British artists to eventually go over and try to crack it here,” the singer-songwrtiter said. “I’ve built a little fan base back home, so I hope the same thing happens here. But I don’t want a big commercial push. I’d rather it happen kind of naturally, through word of mouth.”

So far, it seems the 24-year-old is getting her wish.

As the Hereford, England, native pushes her debut, “Lights,” on U.S. soil, she has rallied quite the buzz for herself,  mostly by playing a handful of smaller venues across the country, bookended by two major festivals: the recent South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas,  and last weekend’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio.

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Live Review: Ellie Goulding at the Roxy

"I love those T-shirts!," Ellie Goulding said to a small coterie of young girls up front at the Roxy for the U.K. singer's debut in Los Angeles. The shirts were emblazoned with declarations of devotion to their new nascent favorite pop singer. "Did you make them?"

They had, in fact, made them. And Goulding should probably expect a few more sparkle-pen tributes in the near future. The 23-year-old's disco-bolstered, folk-bedecked pop has already made her a beloved festival act in the U.K., where such left-field things are allowed in the mainstream. But last night at the Roxy, with pretty much zero traction to date in the U.S., she gave hints that a well-oiled career may be ramping up in the spirit of label- and country-mate La Roux.

Goulding's breakout single, "Starry Eyed," is a scintillant but strange thing, full of stops and starts and reversed vocals and a big, ravey, filtered synth lurking about in the back of the chorus. It veers toward the precious at the big falsetto points (and, well, throughout the entire sparkle-saturated video), but then whips back to weird just as quickly.

It would be a fine little foundling of a single in itself, but the better part of her Roxy set seemed to cement her pop bona fides. They are considerable: Goulding's almost too perfectly named -- she tosses her goldenrod hair like its own instrument during the big dance breaks -- but she can reel off some pretty powerful drum and guitar chops when the song calls for it. And her voice, while really stylized and delicate on record, is a serious and sure instrument in person.

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