The Writer (song)

"The Writer" is a song by English singer and songwriter Ellie Goulding from her debut album, Lights (2010). It was released as the album's fourth and final (not including the Bright Lights re-release) single on 8 August 2010.

"The Writer"
Ellie Goulding - The Writer.png
Single by Ellie Goulding
from the album Lights
Released8 August 2010 (2010-08-08)
FormatDigital download
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Jonny Lattimer
Ellie Goulding singles chronology
"Guns and Horses"
"The Writer"
"Your Song"


Goulding told Sky Songs that "The Writer" is "the most personal and emotional song I've written yet", adding, "It's about how you'd do anything and change absolutely everything about yourself if necessary, just to be noticed by this one person."[1]

Critical receptionEdit

The Observer's Polly Vernon named "The Writer" the "love song of the summer" and called it "raw, eloquent, generally gorgeous", while describing Goulding's voice as "ghostly sweet, saved from sickliness by guttural Björk-ish quirks."[2] 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."[3]

Ryan Love of Digital Spy gave the track three out of five stars and wrote 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."[4] Michael Cragg of musicOMH compared the song to Dido "with a more four-to-the-floor backing."[5] 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."[6]

Commercial performanceEdit

"The Writer" debuted at number 101 on the UK Singles Chart for the week ending 24 July 2010,[7] entering the top 100 at number sixty-eight the following week.[8] In its fifth week on the chart,[9] the single peaked at number nineteen with 12,446 copies sold.[10]

Music videoEdit

Goulding in the video for "The Writer".

The music video for "The Writer" was directed by Chris Cottam and filmed at Happisburgh Lighthouse in Happisburgh, Norfolk in June 2010 and was uploaded onto Goulding's official YouTube channel on 9 July 2010.[11][12] 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 listingsEdit

UK digital download – EP[13]
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


Credits adapted from the liner notes of Lights.[15]

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


Chart (2010) Peak
European Hot 100 Singles[16] 60
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[17] 17
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 19


  1. ^ "Ellie Goulding – In Her Own Words". Sky Songs. Retrieved 6 April 2010.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Vernon, Polly (8 August 2010). "Ellie Goulding's summer of love". The Observer. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
  3. ^ OddOne (15 August 2010). "Single Review: Ellie Goulding – 'The Writer". Unreality Shout. Archived from the original on 18 October 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
  4. ^ Love, Ryan (11 August 2010). "Ellie Goulding: 'The Writer'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
  5. ^ Cragg, Michael. "Ellie Goulding – Lights". musicOMH. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
  6. ^ Troussé, Stephen (5 March 2010). "Ellie Goulding: Lights". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 6 November 2010.
  7. ^ "CHART: CLUK Update 24.07.2010 (wk28)". The Zobbel Website. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Official UK Singles Top 100". Official Charts Company. 7 August 2010. Archived from the original on 8 August 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  10. ^ "Eminem and Flo-Rida top charts". Music Week. Intent Media. 16 August 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  11. ^ Knight, David (14 July 2010). "Ellie Goulding's The Writer by Chris Cottam". Promo News. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
  12. ^ "Ellie Goulding : The Writer". YouTube. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 23 October 2010.
  13. ^ "The Writer – EP by Ellie Goulding". iTunes Store UK. Apple. Archived from the original on 16 September 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  14. ^ "The Writer" (UK promo CD single liner notes). Ellie Goulding. Polydor Records. 2010. WRITER1.
  15. ^ Lights (CD liner notes). Ellie Goulding. Polydor Records. 2010. 2732799.CS1 maint: others (link)
  16. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. 122 (34). 28 August 2010. ISSN 0006-2510.
  17. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 February 2013.

External linksEdit