A non-single from her sophomore album shows Ellie Goulding has more to offer beyond “Lights”

A non-single from her sophomore album shows Ellie Goulding has more to offer beyond “Lights”

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing.

With the protracted success of Ellie Goulding’s breakout 2011 synthpop single “Lights”—which took its sweet time making its way to U.S. charts, where it’s remained for more than 30 weeks, currently sitting at No. 27 on the Hot 100—American audiences could be forgiven for not realizing the British singer-songwriter released a follow-up to the 2010 debut that included that song. Which is a shame, because this year’s Halcyon is much stronger and more diverse than Lights was, and contains a song that, for my money, is even catchier than The Radio Single That Won’t Die. (It also includes another airing-out of “Lights” as its final track, in case anyone missed it that last 10,000 times they heard it.) “Only You” is slightly darker and more brooding than the twinkling “Lights,” but the hummed vocal that loops throughout the song is incredibly insinuating, and the song builds and builds upon that lo-fi sample to a big, intricate, intoxicating climax.