Ellie Goulding is back, baby! The British pop star has kept a pretty low profile over the past couple years, releasing a Kygo collab in 2017 and a holiday recording of “O Holy Night” last winter, along with a couple other one-offs. On Wednesday (October 24), however, she returned with her first proper solo single since 2015.
She’s technically not alone, though — “Close To Me” is a duet with boyish wonder Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd, and features shimmering production from Diplo. “Even though we both know we’re liars and we start each other’s fires, we just know that we’ll be alright,” Goulding sings on the defiant love song, which celebrates a wild, reckless romance. “So don’t let me down / Keep me in trouble / Born to be wild, out in the jungle.” Swae, meanwhile, pops in with a carefree, melodic verse, finding easy chemistry with Goulding over Diplo’s gleaming beats.
It’s been three years since Goulding released her third album, 2015’s Delirium, which included the massive hit “Love Me Like You Do.” Speaking to BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac on Wednesday, Goulding explained that she’s spent the time since that album taking a much-needed break, cooking, getting engaged, and just living life.
“I spent quite a lot of time on tour after I released [Delirium], and then, to be honest, I was just really tired,” she explained. “I just wanted to spend time with my family and see my friends a bit more and try to have a bit of a normal reality.”
Although a follow-up to Delirium has yet to be announced, the 31-year-old recently wiped her social media accounts clean, a move that — coupled with the new release of “Close To Me” — suggests that something big is on the horizon.