Ellie Goulding goes back in time in “Sixteen”

Photo: Scott Garfitt/REX/Shutterstock

Ellie Goulding has shared a video for her nostalgic new song, ‘Sixteen’, the third single off her forthcoming album. The video, directed by Tim Mattia, sees Ellie sitting in her friend’s black convertible, reminiscing alongside her about their earlier years and days of reckless teenage abandon. Fast cuts and flashing lights accompany the video as it flashes between past and present, with a teenage versions of her and her friend trying drugs and stealing liquor from the grocery store, capturing the curiosity and rebelliousness of youth. The video ends with a sweet shot of her young doppleganger and her friend skipping by the car, with Ellie flashing them a knowing look as they pass the car and skip off into the unknown.

The singer— now 32— has been doing alot of reminiscing lately as she gears up to release her yet-to-be-named fourth studio album, which will include “Sixteen” and the recently-shared first single, “Flux”, a sweet and freeing piano-driven ballad about being in love with the idea of loving someone. The pair of songs puts the theme of self-reflection into practice, as she looks back on past decisions with the newfound knowledge of a wiser, experienced adult. We can expect all of her forthcoming music, in fact, to be both introspective and unapologetically her; she has talked about her “finally being herself again”, and having been able to “reflect on everything, take it all in, and just reset [her] mind”, as she told iHeartRadio in a December interview. “I think this album is probably the most representative of me so far [with] everything from my voice, the way I sing, my lyrics and the music that I come up with,” she said. “‘Cause I’ve written every song, so … Not that I didn’t write my other songs, but it’s just been me and no one else.” We can only imagine what this will mean for us listeners.

“I’m so excited to share ‘Sixteen’ with everyone,” Goulding says of the new song and video. “That age was such a pivotal year for me in many ways and this song is so close to my heart. It takes me back to the reckless days of being a teenager and I hope it reminds us all about the innocence of youth.”