Pop music in 2015 isn’t for wallflowers. With Justin Bieber’s “What Do U Mean?” and Major Lazer’s “Lean On” running the dance floor, Ellie Goulding struts in with her head-bobbing album Delirium. Combining electronic dance with sweetheart pop, Goulding doesn’t leave her EDM home in the dust but meshes it with her diverse influences (she’s name-dropped Bjork, Beyonce and Drake in the past) without sounding like a copycat. It also helps that she’s in a happy place too. Often gushing on-record about her beau, singer Dougie Poynter, it’s no wonder her latest offering is upbeat yet true to her musical personality. She even told Billboard before the show, “Deliriously happy still has a dark side to it.”
There was nothing dark about her AMEX Unstaged show on Wednesday night at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom. The grand production -- helmed by actress Scarlett Johansson -- employed lightsaber-esque props and kaleidoscopic background images of skydivers, palm trees and Goulding’s “EG” emblem on a gigantic screen behind the six-person band. Goulding had her own special set-up, with drums and a mini-keyboard, which came in handy when she added the bass for the Halcyon track “Goodness Gracious."