Back in the spring, British artist Ella Henderson released her debut single “Ghost,” a catchy pop thumper co-written by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, otherwise known as He Who Owns the Pop Hook. My great regret is that I didn’t write anything about it back then, since it quickly rose to the top of my summer playlist and became one of the mainstays in an otherwise meh season for pop. (No offense, “Bang Bang” and “I Will Never Let You Down.”)
On Tuesday, Henderson soft-released the video for her second single “Glow,” and it’s a solid follow-up track that shines some more light on her pop identity: There’s a little Ellie Goulding in the tone, some Leona Lewis in the upper range, and maybe just a little Cheryl Cole without all that boy band-busting choreography. Check it out below:
But here’s the thing: While “Glow” is fine, now is the perfect time to discover what ought to have been one of this summer’s pop hits, “Ghost.” It became something of a sensation in England, but it’s about time the song went wide in the States, since it’s got all the necessary ingredients for that peppy work-commute playlist you’ve had trouble filling. On top of the insanely catchy hook and gorgeous video (Henderson’s clearly got a thing for spooky woods), it’s a showcase for a pretty unique voice in Brit-pop that might be a surprising one to watch this fall.
At just 16, Henderson was the favorite to win the ninth season of Britain’s The X Factor but wound up finishing in sixth place. As any fan of reality singing competitions knows, this hardly means anything for an artist’s longevity, and in fact, it’s sometimes the reality runner-ups who release the best music later on. Her first album will drop this September in the UK (the US date is still TBD) and likely prove it.