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Ellie Goulding runs through highlights off her new album 'Higher Than Heaven'

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

You may know British pop star Ellie Goulding for major hits like "Lights," "Love Me Like You Do" and "Burn." After years out of the spotlight, she's back and out with her fourth solo album, "Higher Than Heaven." She stopped by to talk about some of the album's standout tracks and told us that she had one goal - to get people dancing.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HIGHER THAN HEAVEN")

ELLIE GOULDING: (Singing) You take me higher than heaven above.

There will be no tears when listening to this album unless it's tears of joy.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HIGHER THAN HEAVEN")

GOULDING: (Singing) Oh, it hurts so amazing, my body ablaze from this heat we're creating tonight.

I love the title track "Higher Than Heaven" because it just feels like love. It just feels like sensuality. It feels kind of sexy.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HIGHER THAN HEAVEN")

GOULDING: (Singing) It's so hard to see. We're lost in the moonlight. Got to leave it all behind and forget we're alive.

And just feeling like you're high because you're so in love and...

(Singing) Grab my heart and pull me far from yesterday. Pick me up, our bodies bending into shape. They don't even see us leaving.

This thin air that we're breathing, you know, so it's just all escape. It's all fictional things that just feel so good. They feel so good to sing. They take you to another place, and, you know, sometimes songs just hit you really hard with cold reality of heartbreak and, you know, not feeling yourself and feeling lost. And this is like being lost in a good way. This is just being, you know, lost in some kind of dream. And so, you know, the lyric - like, it's very clear then that the lyrics aren't, like, from personal and meaningful experiences. And you take me higher than heaven above - you know, there's nothing - you couldn't get higher than that, so, I just think it was perfect for the title of the album.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BETTER MAN")

GOULDING: (Singing) You can meet me outside. Take a bruising to the pride. Wouldn't kick it when you're down, but I hate it when you lie.

I think that "Better Man" is just having a quiet confidence that you can overpower someone, like a male, in particular, with that confidence. It's certainly not about, like, a rivalry with another female. It is about me feeling a kind of resentment towards a man for feeling like they have a - like, a kind of innate dominance over me.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BETTER MAN")

GOULDING: (Singing) Baby, I'm a better man 'cause I'm soft as a shadow and strong as a drink I like.

I've experienced this a lot in my career and in my personal life. You know, when - there's been a few times where I've been in the studio or been at a label meeting, and there will be an instance where a man tries to exert that kind of power over me. And I think that in order to - it's not like I just turn around and say, look, don't, like, patronize me or don't make that, like, sexist remark or whatever. But it's like having that quiet confidence, and so it just feels good to be able to sing that - to be able to sing those words and know that it's there if I need it. And even just singing it makes me feel more powerful than I was.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BETTER MAN")

GOULDING: (Singing) I'm the better man.

DETROW: That was Ellie Goulding. Her new album, "Higher Than Heaven," is out now.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BETTER MAN")

GOULDING: (Singing) I'm the better man. I'm the better man. Out of my head, but you made me this way. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.