If the singing voice is merely a vehicle for a melody, a means of putting across a verse, a bridge, a chorus, well, somebody forgot to tell Ellie Goulding. As her debut album, Lights, made so thrillingly clear, Ellie uses her voice as a texture in much the same way that a skilled instrumentalist would. It is, in other words, a sound - in Ellie's case, an utterly distinctive and unforgettable one - that can play as important a role in her songs as any other musical detail. Not even the most ardent fan or keenest student of Lights is going to be prepared for the shock of Ellie's new album Halcyon, however. A musical, vocal and lyrical tempest, the new record describes a journey out of heartache and towards hope, from desolation to renewed faith in the future, set to music that is alternately strident and stunned, emphatic and tentative. Capturing a period of profound change and transition in Ellie's life, Halcyon is, despite the mournful nature of much of its inspiration, ultimately a redemptive album.