Ellie Goulding – ‘On My Mind’

A guest blog written by Rory BoyleYou can agree/disagree with him here.

Song: ‘On My Mind’
Artist: Ellie Goulding
US Chart Peak: 13
Release date: September 17, 2015
Writers: Max Martin, Ellie Goulding, Savan Kotecha, Ilay Salmanzadeh
Producers: Max Martin, Ilay Salmanzadeh
Quintessential Max moment: That chorus curveball
Video Synopsis: A pensive Ellie takes her new lips to Vegas, where she and a mate go on a murderous horse ride

When Ellie released ‘Love Me Like You Do‘ – her first Max collab – in January 2015, it became her biggest worldwide hit and felt like the first major step in Ellie’s climb up the ladder to pop superstardom. Then her label fucked everything up by waiting EIGHT MONTHS to release ‘On My Mind’.

Ellie’s third album ‘Delirium’ was seen as her shot at a big pop ‘moment’, and while striking while the iron was hot might not have been her strong suit, ‘On My Mind’’s lyrical content was sure to inspire countless wet dreams for the Heat Magazine staff. Largely regarded as an answer song to Ed Sheeran’s monotone whinge-fest ‘Don’t’, Ellie has constantly denied being the Frankee to his Eamon, instead stating the song isn’t about anyone in particular, but a throwback to her MySpace days of explicit and honest songwriting.

As for the music itself, ‘On My Mind’ manages to fuse electronic pop, trap drums and both smooth and scratchy guitars while bringing Ellie’s signature breathy vibrato vocals to the fore – something that seemed to get lost on certain ‘Delirium’ tracks. Max’s subtle yet seamless talents are further highlighted in three key moments in this song’s three minutes and thirty three seconds:

  • Following a running theme in many of Max’s songs, just when you’ve got the seemingly simple chorus figured out, along comes a curveball in the form of the incessant “you think you know somebody” hook which, despite its repetition, never loses its impact
  • The brief, a cappella “WAIT! I could’ve really liked you” which is sure to grab the attention of even the most cynical Sheeran sympathiser
  • The outro, which basically consists of Ellie making various noises cumulating in what sounds like one final breath of relief

Perhaps the song’s complexities are best exhibited in Ellie’s performance with her live band on The Tonight Show, which shows just how much there is going on here. Yet another Max Martin song bursting with his intricate ideas, yet somehow manages to feel like a quintessential Ellie Goulding song. What a genius.

If you’d like to write a guest blog on a Max Martin song that didn’t make the US Top 10 then there’s information on how to do that right here.

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