Unless you're new to EARMILK, you know that we love Ellie Goulding here. Who doesn't, honestly? She has the voice of an angel. Somehow, that comparison almost doesn't seem to do it justice. The UK songbird has been maintaining a relatively low profile since the release of her 2012 sophomore album, Halcyon, but whenever she sneaks out an offering it's gobbled up by her ravenous supporters, and you can count us among them. In that vein, we've been presented a gift.
One thing Ellie does particularly well is take songs that are already brilliant in their own right and coat them with her silky smooth vocals — making them completely her own, and if you need proof (you shouldn't) consult her covers of The Weeknd's "High For This" and Alt-J's "Tessellate." She now adds the incomparable James Blake to that list with a fantastic cover of "Life Round Here," which is every bit as magnetic as the original. Goulding mimics Blake's aesthetic choices all the way through, enlisting help from talented femcee Angel Haze, and together the two bring what feels like fresh female perspective to the record. If nothing else, the song serves as a suitable complement to Blake's. It's also a pretty decent compliment.
Ellie's voice is as soothing and supple as ever, operating in a much lower register than her norm, but with no negative affect. Her rare talent is on display here, as she manages to stay true to Blake's sound structure while simultaneously straying into new and interesting soundspace. Haze caps the record with a rapid fire flow that effortlessly piggybacks on Ellie's natural delivery. The two ladies work wonders together. It is a special and unexpected treat.
Stream Ellie Goulding's cover of James Blake's "Life Round Here" below, and be on the lookout for more from the UK sensation soon (hopefully).
"Life Round Here" (Cover) (Ft. Angel Haze)
- Neon Gold/Interscope
- February 3, 2013