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The Writer (song)

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The Writer (song)

"The Writer"
Released 8 August 2010 (2010-08-08)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2009
Genre Folktronica, synthpop
Length 4:11
Label Polydor
Writer(s) Ellie Goulding, Jonny Lattimer
Producer Starsmith
Ellie Goulding singles chronology

"Guns and Horses"
"The Writer"
"Your Song"

Music video

"The Writer" is a song by English recording artist Ellie Goulding from her debut album, Lights (2010). It was released as the album's fourth and final (not including Bright Lights) single on 8 August 2010.[1]


When asked what "The Writer" was about, Goulding said:

"'The Writer' is the most personal and emotional song I've written yet. It's about how you'd do anything and change absolutely everything about yourself if necessary, just to be noticed by this one person."[2]

Critical reception

The Observer's Polly Vernon named "The Writer" the "love song of the summer", whilst calling it "raw, eloquent, generally gorgeous", as well as describing Goulding's voice as "ghostly sweet, saved from sickliness by guttural Björk-ish quirks."[3] OddOne of Unreality Shout felt that "[n]ot once has she sounded more warming than in this beautifully written love song of devotion to a lover", but noted that "being her first ballad, she does fall at some hurdles, like the middle 8: whilst Ellie's breathy vocals may appear to bridge the emotion between the two final choruses, it actually does feel a bit like she's gone back to her colder self, not making the emotion clearly defined despite the very comforting lyrics."[4]

Ryan Love wrote for Digital Spy that "Starsmith's typically twinkly production allows those vocals to shine through as she urges a potential boyfriend to help her become just the right kinda gal for him—and the overall effect is as sweet and pretty as a pink frosted cupcake."[5] Michael Cragg of musicOMH compared the song to Dido "with a more four-to-the-floor backing."[6] Pitchfork Media's Stephen Troussé, however, referred negatively to it as "a big bluster of a song, with a chorus where the spectre of the Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan is all too vivid, whose future success could be Goulding's undoing."[7] SouthSonic stated that "The Writer" is "a gentle song opposing her second single 'Starry Eyed'" and that it "presents to the audience a sense of dreaming or wandering in thought and interestingly, the tempo of the song is of a slow walking pace."[8]

Music video

The music video for "The Writer" was directed by Chris Cottam and filmed at Happisburgh Lighthouse in Happisburgh, Norfolk in June 2010.[9][10] It was uploaded onto Goulding's official YouTube channel on 9 July 2010.[11] The video shows Goulding walking around a field and exploring Happisburgh Lighthouse. It also includes in-studio sequences of her in front of a bright screen, giving the impression that she is in front of the actual light of the lighthouse.

Track listings

  • UK iTunes EP[1]
  1. "The Writer" – 4:14
  2. "The Writer" (Live Acoustic Version) – 4:12
  3. "The Writer" (Alan Braxe Remix) – 6:05
  4. "The Writer" (Friend's Electric Remix) – 3:50
  • UK promo CD single[12]
  1. "The Writer" (Starsmith Edit) – 3:43
  2. "The Writer" (Album Version) – 4:14
  3. "The Writer" (Instrumental) – 4:13


Credits adapted from Lights liner notes.[13]

  • Ellie Goulding – vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Stevie Blacke – live strings
  • Alan Clarke – photography
  • Joe Clegg – drums
  • Julian Kindred – drum engineering
  • Naweed – mastering
  • Starsmith – bass, drum programming, keyboards, producer
  • Mark "Spike" Stent – mixing
  • Traffic – design


Chart (2010) Peak
European Hot 100 Singles[14] 60
Scottish Singles Chart[15] 17
UK Singles Chart[16] 19


External links

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