Taken on its own as a track, “Butter’s Theme” is a quite strong mix of moombahton with Indian and hip-hop elements strung throughout. While not totally in your face, it does get quickly ingrained in your memory. The minimal vocal chants about watching booty are syncopated perfectly, and this track would work equally as well in a gentleman’s or hipster/electro club. Most of the buzz on this song, though, is coming from the video being featured on the Potato (a collaboration of Diplo, A-Trak, and Skrillex) YouTube channel. A kaleidoscopic (if not hallucinogenic) masturbatory fantasy for teenage boys, the clip features multiple girls clad in diverse fetish gear synced to each beat and phrase of the song. Imagine Terry Richardson doing a promo clip for an American Apparel or Frederick’s of Hollywood or Nylon collaboration to get the idea. The video is truly worth watching, as it’s a visual masterpiece with so very much going on at once. While I find myself drawn to heavenly hula hoop girl, there’s been much speculation as to whether the pretty blonde is really Ellie Goulding. Seeing as she used to date Skrillex, it could be a possibility, but I just can’t imagine the British songstress agreeing to be part of something like this. While an Azealia Banks version is probably forthcoming, Stella Mwangi’s flow fits the track quite well.
Chess for girls… Now that Ellie has a pop hit here in the states, the hipsters are already talking smack about her. I overheard one of them referring to “Figure 8” as “dubstep for girls,” a la the infamous Saturday Night Live sketch commercial for “Chess for Girls.” Needless to say, I completely disagree. Yes, the song is quite similar in structure and tone to Alex Clare’s crossover/advertising jingle “Too Close,” but that same critique will be thrown at any artist who utilizes dubstep rhythms with emotional storytelling (though both songs do share the same coproducer, Mike Spencer.) “Figure 8” is quite darker than her current single “Anything Could Happen,” with moodier and sparser verse production and harder dubstep chorus beats acting as a background for Ellie’s story of heartbreak. It’s easy to see why Ellie Goulding was embraced as a true songwriting talent in the UK in the same way that they embraced Adele. The two remixes couldn’t be more different. Drop Lamond’s take is hard to describe – an interesting and odd fusion of breakbeat and brokenbeat, with an electro groove throughout. The stop-and-stutter feel would make for a nice change in vibe for any ballsy DJ willing to take a risk at a WTF moment. If you like their mix, you should also check out their single “Kerosene.” For mainstream dance floors, The Alias continues their streak of hands-in-the-air Hi-NRG mixes (Girls Aloud, Little Mix, Kelly Clarkson) with another galloping floorfiller. I find it quite impressive that the label is commissioning commercial remixes like this (and the Almighty remix of “Anything Could Happen”) in addition to the edgier, “credible” mixes. It just shows that a strong song can translate for any audience.
Who is Ellie Goulding, really? I mean, Wikipedia tells us she’s a 25 year-old soprano from London. That really doesn’t say much, though, it’s just facts. It doesn’t convey a personage, not the way the act of expression that is music can. We also know that Ellie Goulding has been riding the same song, rather successfully, for almost three years now, and for some reason “Lights” never really gets old. That’s one song, however, and can you really establish the identity of a singer from one song? While “Lights” has been introducing Ellie to fans across the globe and sneaking into the pop mainstream like a slow-moving ninja, it wasn’t really a fantastic representation of her 2010 album of the same name, nor is it a calling card to what her new album, Halcyon, contains. “Lights” is what allowed her to create Halcyon though, and it is an influence on what some of the tracks aim to achieve. But at the end of the day, who is Ellie Goulding, really? Continue reading REVIEW: Ellie Goulding – ‘Halcyon’