Lights is the second studio album by English recording artist Ellie Goulding, released on 5 October 2012 by Polydor Records. It was recorded between 2011 and 2012, during promotion of her her debut album Lights (2010). The album sees Goulding working with several producers, including Jim Eliot, Starsmith, Billboard, Justin Parker, MONSTA, Madeon and Mike Spencer, as well as collaborations with artists such as Tinie Tempah and Calvin Harris. Musically the album incorporates indie pop and synthpop which was heard on Goulding’s previous album as well as including new genres such as dream pop.
Halcyon received generally positive reviews from music critics, who complimented Goulding’s more aggressive showcase of her voice, with some critics calling it “luxuriously epic” and commending Goulding as “poised at the edge of artistic and career possibilities”. However, less favourable reviews felt that “the main flaw of Halcyon is that it occasionally feels a bit too much” and that the album concedes to “factory-standard chart dance”. The album debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart, selling 33,425 copies in its first week. It also debuted at number nine on the United States’ Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 34,000 copies, while reaching the top five in New Zealand, the top ten in Canada and Ireland, and the top twenty in Australia.
“Anything Could Happen” was released as the lead single from Halcyon on 17 August 2012, peaking at number five on the UK Singles Chart. “Figure 8” was released as the album’s second single having commercial success in New Zealand where it was certified platinum, “Explosions” was released as the album’s third single, peaking at number thirteen on the UK singles chart. To further promote the album Goulding embarked on a nine-day promotional tour across the United Kingdom. The Halcyon Days Tour, was unveiled along with North American dates, beginning in Miami Beach, Florida.
On 26 August 2013, the album was reissued as an expanded version titled Halcyon Days. The lead single from the reissued album, “Burn”, was released 5 July 2013. It has topped the UK Singles Chart, becoming Goulding’s first number-one single on the chart. It has charted in the top five in Scotland and Ireland, as well as in the top ten in Australia, New Zealand and Germany.