'Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences'

Posts Tagged ‘Ellie Goulding

“Pop in disguise”; the kittenish sounds of new singer-songwriter, Fiona Bevan

leave a comment »

Fiona Bevan

I was reading the list of ‘Most Successful UK Songwriters of 2013’ over the weekend, as published in The Independent on February 11th, 2014.

It was Music Week that collated the list and to clarify – the songwriters did not have to originate from the UK as the list was compiled based on songwriters’ “shares” of the credit for the UK’s 100 biggest-selling singles of the year. The list reads as follows:

1. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

2. Pharrell Williams

3. The Smeezingtons (including Bruno Mars)

4. Ryan Tedder

5. Mike Rosenberg (Passenger)

6. Dan Smith (Bastille)

7. Avicii

8. Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel (Daft Punk)

9. Jeremy Fraites and Wesley Schultz (The Lumineers)

10. Max Martin

I found the absence of any double x chromosomes particularly depressing, especially given the number of great female songwriters that the music industry has to offer. Obviously this is just a snapshot in time and isn’t meant to reflect the state of the industry as a whole, but it kind of does…doesn’t it? There are clearly several prolific and widely regarded female songwriters on the scene at the moment: Sia Furler (who occupied the number 2 spot in 2012), Ellie Goulding (19th, 2013), Taylor Swift (11th, 2013), Lady Gaga (100th, 2013), Laura Marling and Emile Sande to name but a few, but it would appear that either a. their sales are predominantly album-driven or    b. they are co-writing some of their most successful material. Max Martin co-wrote Swift’s ’22’ and ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’, as well as Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ and quite evidently has the golden touch when it comes to penning hit records. He gave us ‘Baby One More Time’ and the wondrous Britney Spears, need I say more.


One such female who is hoping to navigate her way to the top of this list is Suffolk-born, Colchester-raised, Fiona Bevan. Bevan has already established herself as an in-demand songwriter on an international scale. As well as commissions for film, classical compositions, and a Tate exhibition, she also co-wrote ‘Little Things’ with Ed Sheeran, which went on to become a No.1 single for One Direction.  Bevan releases her debut single, ‘The Machine’ on March 1oth, 2014 on Navigator Records. The track is the first single to be taken from ‘Talk To Strangers’, Bevan’s debut album set for release on April 28th, 2014.

Bevan describes her debut album as “pop in disguise”. An accurate depiction of the material I’d say; I hear strong folk and acoustic rock influences coming through which put me in mind of Joanna Newsom, Bella Hardy and Lisa Hannigan. Fine company, folkies amongst me will agree. Bevan’s vocals, like Hannigan’s, are beautifully hypnotic, perfectly blending her delicate, kittenish tone with the jaunty beats of her acoustic guitar. Bevan’s look is as unique and stunning as her artistry and I predict big things for her in 2014. /

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

February 17, 2014 at 5:36 pm

My top 5 recommended albums of 2012

leave a comment »


5. Purity Ring ‘Shrines’ (July, 2012)

The debut album, ‘Shrines’ from Canadian electronic duo, Purity Ring, is at number 5 on my list of recommended albums of 2012.

Formed in 2010, the band consists of Megan James on lead vocals and Corin Roddick providing the instrumentals and backing vocals. The sound of Purity Ring has been described as ghost or witchwave, which is essentially dream pop fused with modern hip hop and vivid lyrical imagery which wouldn’t be out of place on the soundtrack to a European art-house horror film. If Purity Ring were a film, they would definitely be an 18 certificate; something beautiful to look at, yet terrifying in its execution and subsequent recurring nightmares.


4. Ellie Goulding ‘Halcyon’ (October, 2012)

Ellie Goulding‘s second album ‘Halcyon’ is at number 4.

Goulding is my favourite recipient to date of the BBC‘s annual Sound of… poll and Brit Awards’ Critics’ Choice. She won both awards in 2010 and has continued to grow and develop in to a diverse, visually-exciting and critically-respected artist.

It was Goulding’s 2010 cover of Elton John‘s ‘Your Song’, which sparked the current trend of using acoustic power ballad covers of well known songs to accompany seasonal or big brand tv advertisements, recent examples being Slow Moving Millie‘s ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want’ and Gabrielle Aplin‘s ‘The Power of Love’.

‘Anything Could Happen’ was the first single to be released from the album and is one of my favourite tracks of this year. Goulding likes to experiment and is a creative risk-taker, as trendsetters commonly are. I think that she will be around for many years to come.


3. Miike Snow ‘Happy To You’ (March, 2012)

The second album, ‘Happy To You’, from Swedish indie-electronic band Miike Snow is at number 3.

The band’s debut, self-titled album was my favourite album of 2010 and I have been a huge fan of this quirky, multi-talented trio ever since. ‘Paddling Out’ and ‘The Wave’ have been released as singles so far, but my favourite tracks from the album would be ‘Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)’, ‘God Help This Divorce’ and ‘Pretender’. The 10-track album is full-bodied and frenetic with its mix of wandering synths and quivering beats, interspersed with trademark Snow double entendres. Some critics felt that this album didn’t quite live up to the hype created after the success of their first record, but fans generally and heartily disagree. ‘Happy To You’ is Miike Snow at their best, showcasing exactly what got them to where they are today and what sets them apart from the rest. Which is a lot.


2. Marina and the Diamonds ‘Electra Heart’ (April, 2012)

Marina and the Diamonds’ second album, ‘Electra Heart’ is at number 2 on my list and it was quite a close call.

Marina came second to Ellie Goulding on the BBC’s Sound of 2010 poll and has enjoyed an equal level of success since. ‘Electra Heart’ was the eagerly anticipated follow-up to 2010’s ‘The Family Jewels’, and highlighted a marked shift on Marina’s part towards a more heavily electronic sound. The album tracks are based around the character of Electra Heart, who chronologically demonstrates Marina’s own take on the many facets of the female personality; the primadonna, the homewrecker and the teen idol. The musical creativity and writing on this album are stunning; both qualities being a factor in the album’s easy slide in to the number one position on the UK Album Chart on its release. ‘Electra Heart’ is cheeky and catchy whilst also being socially-conscious – not easy to pull off, but Marina manages to do it in style whilst conserving her substance.


1. Lana Del Rey ‘Born To Die’ (January, 2012)

Lana Del Rey‘s debut album, ‘Born To Die’, holds the number 1 spot on my list and at the moment, on my in-car stereo too.

Del Rey’s sound has a cinematic quality to it – each track makes you the lead in your own independent film, be it a roadtrip along the Pacific coast with regular stops at 50s-inspired diners and vintage clothes stores or a weekend with the upper echelon in East Hampton. I literally cannot get enough of this album. I want to sound like Del Rey. I want to look like Del Rey. I want to be Del Rey. I trust that this clarifies matters.

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

December 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Leaving the bright lights and folk-in-the-forest stylings behind; Ellie Goulding embarks on a new 2012 UK tour

with one comment


Ellie Goulding has released details of a new UK tour in support of her second studio album ‘Halcyon’, which is due out on October 8th, 2012 (UK) and October 9th, 2012 (US). Tickets go on general sale from 9am on September 21st, 2012.

Ellie Goulding‘s 2012 UK tour dates are as follows:

  • December 7 – Bristol, Academy
  • December 8 – Liverpool, Academy
  • December 11 – Nottingham, Rock City
  • December 12 – London, Brixton Academy
  • December 13 – Glasgow, Academy
  • December 15 – Leeds, Academy
  • December 16 – Birmingham, Academy
  • December 17 – Manchester, Academy
  • December 18 – Southampton, Guildhall

‘Anything Could Happen’ is the first single to be released from the record and the accompanying music video is somewhat of a departure from the bright lights and folk-in-the-forest stylings seen on Goulding’s debut album. The plotline is as dramatic and menacing as the cliffs that line the beachfront location, with Goulding and her travelling companion apparantely surviving a crash of apocalyptic proportions. Goulding emerges from the wreckage relatively unscathed and ready to embark on the next phase of her existence. The track perfectly signposts listeners in the direction of what is to come with the rest of the material on ‘Halcyon’ and it would appear that Goulding is not just being creatively inspired by boyfriend Skrillex – she is starting to bear more than a passing resemblance to him!

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

September 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Suitably sleek with a soulful twist – Ellie Goulding’s pulsating and celestial second album, ‘Halcyon’

leave a comment »

The Halcyon is a mythical bird, said to breed around the time of the winter solstice in a nest which floats on the sea. The bird is said to have the power to charm winds and calm waves. ‘Halcyon’ is also the title of Ellie Goulding‘s second album, which after my first listen I don’t doubt possesses the same qualities.

Goulding is currently sitting pretty at the top of the US download charts with the title track to her debut album, ‘Lights.’ Goulding has expressed her own amazement at the track’s success Stateside; it was originally a bonus track tied to the iTunes release of Goulding’s debut album of the same name, which topped the UK album chart in March 2010. ‘Lights’ has been a regular feature on global dancefloors this summer and has steadily crept up the US download charts as a result.


‘Anything Could Happen’ will be the first single to be released from second album ‘Halcyon’ and Goulding has put together a lyric video from 1000 fan-submitted Instagram images. She has also released a short promotional video that features snippets of other tracks from the album. She is clearly sticking with her electropop edge;  the pulsating bassline and celestial synths ever prominent and piercing. Goulding’s sound is suitably sleek with a soulful twist and she appears to have matured creatively and vocally with this record.


Goulding has said that ‘Halcyon’ was inspired by the ocean and water, bringing us back to charming winds and calming waves. Being a Cancer sign, I am particularly drawn to all things coastal and ‘of the sea’ (see Lisa Hannigan‘s ‘Sea Sew’) and have the maritime-inspired bathroom decor to prove it. You needn’t go as far to declare your love for the great sea that encircles us – just hop online and pre-order a copy of ‘Halcyon’ (released on October 8th, 2012 (UK) / October 9th, 2012 (US)). A much less costly affair.

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

August 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

New releases by One Night Only, Ellie Goulding and Frazey Ford

leave a comment »

‘Say You Don’t Want It’  by One Night Only  (released August 16th, 2010)

British indie rock band One Night Only release the follow-up album to their 2008 top 10 debut ‘Started a Fire’ next month (August 28th, 2010). The self-titled record features first single ‘Say You Don’t Want It’, accompanied by a tender waggy-dog tale of love between lead singer George Craig and Emma Watson. The beautiful Burberry-clad twosome cut a fine figure whilst dashing around the metropolis; all the while appearing to be mysteriously uneasy yet happy in each others company…all is revealed at the end so I won’t spoil it for you.

I really like Craig’s vocals on this track and for such a young singer, he does possess a certain matured quality to his tone. Listening to a couple of the tracks off the new album, namely ‘All I Want’ and ‘Got It All Wrong’, I sense a definite leaning or experimentation towards an electronic/synth sound to the second album. I think this band wouldn’t have looked out of place in the electric, high-gloss  ’80s, which is no bad thing in my opinion.

I did keep expecting Ron Weasley to appear in the background; complete with glum expression and giving Craig the evil eye every time he invaded Watson’s personal space. Now that would have been a plot twist; he was probably too busy jaunting round the country in his ice cream van to take part though. Looking forward to hearing more from this band in the coming months.

‘The Writer’ by Ellie Goulding (released August 9th, 2010)

I am a big fan of Ellie as I have stated before and this is probably in the top three of my favourite tracks from her debut album ‘Lights.’ Every song has a lyric that I think you could relate to and having seen her perform live; I especially like the way she changes the tracks each time she performs them, to keep them fresh and to show off her range and musicality. The video to this single is delightful in itself, but I have chosen to include one which I found on YouTube on this occasion. You can’t beat a Disney film with an Ellie soundtrack; maybe that should be next on her agenda! 

‘Firecracker’ by Frazey Ford (out now on iTunes)

Frazey Ford performed for ten years as part of the Vancouver folk/roots trio ‘The Be Good Tanyas.’ Her debut solo album ‘Obadiah’ will be released on July 20th, 2010 and I think it is well worth a listen. Relaxing and intriguing in equal measure, Ford captivates with her Canadian- smooth lilt and velvet-tinged electric strings; a perfect album to spend a leisurely afternoon grazing away to; after all, cows like to relax too!

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

July 14, 2010 at 3:37 pm

The Countdown to V Festival 2010

leave a comment »

It’s been slightly sunny up north today, so I have taken out the bunting, cillit bang’d the bbq and declared the beginning of the great british summer! Ok…maybe not, but I have started the countdown to my 2010 festival frolics and I just hope that my favourite artists aren’t scheduled to perform at the same time. This would cause me much stress and much gadding about; I don’t like to gad, I like to just kick back with a beverage, chat to some like-minded music-loving lads and lasses and mentally prepare for my inevitable bumping in to such rock gods as Fray, Lightbody and R-Patz…it could happen!

My top three must-sees are Ellie Goulding, The Courteeners and Florence and the Machine, but also featuring highly on the list: The Temper Trap, Stereophonics, The Magic Numbers, Goldfrapp and Passion Pit. So I make a plea to the organisers of V; if you could keep the following acts separate, yet on nearby stages to prevent said gadding, that would be just swell…

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

May 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Ellie Goulding

leave a comment »

If I really like a song, I don’t tend to ever tire of it; perhaps my Cancerian nature edges me towards obsession as opposed to fickleness. Yes, this could explain why I have at times kept hold of things which are clearly well past their sell by date…Monster Munch, Bonjela, relationships; sweet at the start but leave you with a distinctly sour taste towards the end…but I digress, I am on this occasion referring to the addictive and simply smashing sound of Ellie Goulding.

I saw Ellie live on her recent support slot for Passion Pit, another of my electronically charged favourites and have been a big fan from that point on. I love those rare moments when you hear a song that you really like from the initial few bars, and ‘Under the Sheets’ is one of those, for me. I love the imagery Ellie captures in this song; the idea of being at your most vulnerable with someone and them some how killing you at the same time, be it with their words or lack thereof:

‘You’re not the answer I should know…like all the boys before, like all the boys before…

I love this lyric; it suggests despair and cynicism yet still a glimmer of hope at the same time; an acknowledgement that at least she should know the answer and you know what they say – acceptance is the first step on the road to recovery.

I knew that Imaginative Writing degree would take over my life!

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

April 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm

%d bloggers like this: