Halcyon is the accomplished sophomore album from English singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding, and it finds her pushing in darker and more dramatic musical directions than on her incandescent debut full-length, Lights. The strutting beat of its buoyant lead single, “Anything Could Happen,” features Goulding’s inimitable gossamer vocals, but it's one of just a few upbeat tracks (the clubby “Burn” and Calvin Harris’ “I Need Your Love” are also dancefloor-ready). Halcyon seems resolute on spotlighting Goulding’s dynamic voice on midtempo tracks and ballads that alternate between piano-and-strings intimacy and thundering displays of percussive bombast, à la Florence + The Machine. Merging chamber pop with epic soundscapes and the occasional electronic flourish, Halcyon further establishes Goulding as an artist to watch.

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