Ellie Goulding - 'Guns and Horses'
As any mountain climber will tell you, after a vertiginous ascent, you need to find a plateau to rest on, before you can resume the climb. It's just a brief period of consolidation, to make sure your equipment is all still working correctly and you've got enough crampons to make it to the summit.
This is very much Ellie Goulding's consolidation single. It's got enough of what people liked about her breakthrough hit to maintain interest and drive clicky fingers towards the all-important 'download album' button, and there's a bit in it which hints at future treasures.
Allow me to explain...
(Here's the video. Some toy soldiers are burning garden refuse in a spinney.)
When Ellie was first announced as the winner of the Sound of 2010 poll, certain critics were quick to describe her folktronica (a word it is impossible to say in public without sounding pretentious) has being little more than a helium Dido.
It's a comparison that wasn't that easy to spot on 'Under The Sheets', and even 'Starry-Eyed' owed more to the sparkle-eyed tinkerbell wail of a Bjork or a Cerys Mathews than any pillow-voiced songstress with Eminem connections.
'Guns And Horses' - quieter and less wide-eyed with wonder - fleshes out that comparison rather better. Ellie still sings it like a frightened woodland nymph, but this is a more ordinary sort of a song than her previous two, and the production - tasteful acoustic, tasteful beats, tasteful synths, tasteful harmonies - struggles to make it shine.
Or at least it does until the final 20 seconds, where Ellie, backed by nothing other than some handclaps, a bass line and some harmonies, begins to roar "I'd do it all for you!" over and over again.
It's like she's broken out of her own plastic shrink-wrapping and has started to trash the toy shop. It's also the bit where it becomes clear that, while there is still a lot of mountain left to climb, Ellie has everything she needs to make it to the next plateau after all.
Indiehere says: "Ellie Goulding has become what Little Boots use to be a few years back."
Hyperactive says: "'Guns And Horses' showcases her folkier side and songwriting skills."
Drowned In Sound says: "Goulding's voice rasps and commands proceedings as she longs to feel the same for a boy who has feelings for her."