Under The Sheets

"Under the Sheets"
B-side "Fighter Plane"
Released 9 November 2009 (2009-11-09)
Format CD single, digital download,
7" single
Genre Indie pop, electropop, synthpop
Length 3:44
Label Neon Gold
Writer(s) Ellie Goulding, Starsmith
Producer Starsmith
Ellie Goulding singles chronology

"Under the Sheets"
"Starry Eyed"

"Under the Sheets" is a song by English recording artist Ellie Goulding from her debut album, Lights. Produced by Starsmith, it was released as the album's lead single. The song premiered on BBC Radio 1 on 30 September 2009[1] and was released on the UK iTunes Store on 15 November 2009,[2] peaking at number fifty-three on the UK Singles Chart on the issue dated 22 November 2009. It was also used to promote the second season of 90210 on the UK channel E4. According to Goulding, the single was released on independent label Neon Gold Records rather than Polydor so that she would not be put under too much pressure.[3]


When asked what "Under the Sheets" was about, Goulding said:

["Under the Sheets"] was probably the easiest song I've written, but actually when I listen back to the lyrics they are actually quite meaningful. They are about a girl and a guy who are in a relationship but it's a very dark relationship in that it's only based on being physical. It's not like a sexual song, it's more like shows that some relationships are based on nothing that is real, they are not based on something good. I've had that experience in my life, because you're trying to cling on to something that you know you're in denial. That's what the song is about in that you know the world won't bring us down, you can be as happy as Larry inside your house with your boyfriend or lover, but as soon as you step outside you're in the real world and you have to deal with it.
—Ellie Goulding, BBC[4]

Critical reception

Digital Spy music editor Nick Levine wrote that "Under the Sheets" is "that bit more magical than the average electropop tune, managing to sound twinkly and chunky at the same time, and the chorus is pretty much irresistible." He also went on to describe Goulding's voice as "pure, girlish and as fluttery as a butterfly trapped in a cupboard."[5] Fraser McAlpine of the BBC Chart Blog called the track an "immaculate frostypop masterpiece" and stated that "[f]rom the first 'like all the boys, boys, boys, boys' to the final go around on the pleading chorus, Ellie's voice dominates. There is barely a second of music which does not feature her vocal in some way, either as a muffled pixie choir, a lead instrument, or a soft, tumbledown wail in the background."[6] The Guardian reviewer Alexis Petridis described it as "a mildly anxious relationship memoir made over with digitised strings, breeze-block synths and crashing 1980s drums."[7] Mark Beaumont from the NME referred to the song as one of the album's "spangliest tracks" along with "Starry Eyed", further commenting that it sees Goulding "in more bruised and bitter mood as producer Starsmith feeds her vulnerable vocals through an Auto-Tune the size of the Large Hadron Collider."[8]

Music video

The music video for "Under the Sheets" was directed by the Lennox Brothers and released on 22 October 2009.[9][10] It opens with Goulding's hands playing a drum, to her with a black background, then leaving a bed occupied by an unknown male and walking though a brick building surrounded by different versions of herself. She can be seen sitting on the floor, playing guitar, writing her lyrics in her socks, riding a vintage bicycle and swinging in a hanging chair all simultaneously. She is also seen playing drums covered in glitter, and while sitting in a wicker chair a close shot of Goulding's hand with a heart drawn on the inside of her fingers is shown with her fingers opening and closing. Throughout the video Goulding wears a sequin top and high-top kicks and a plain shirt.

Track listings

  • UK iTunes EP[2]
  1. "Under the Sheets" – 3:46
  2. "Fighter Plane" – 4:24
  3. "Under the Sheets" (Jakwob Remix) – 5:36
  4. "Under the Sheets" (Pariah Remix) – 4:50
  • UK 7" limited edition single
A. "Under the Sheets" – 3:46
B. "Fighter Plane" – 4:24
  • German CD single and iTunes single[11][12]
  1. "Under the Sheets" – 3:44
  2. "Guns and Horses" (Live at Metropolis Studios) – 3:48



Chart (2009/2010) Peak
Belgian Tip Chart (Flanders)[13] 3
Danish Airplay Chart[14] 2
German Singles Chart[15] 91
UK Singles Chart[16] 53

Release history

Country Date Label Format
United Kingdom 9 November 2009[17] Neon Gold Records 7" single
15 November 2009[2][18] Polydor Records Digital download
Belgium Universal Music
Germany 3 September 2010[12]
17 September 2010[19] CD single


External links

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