It's no immediately easy feat figuring out singer/ songwriter Ellie Goulding. If you were to look to the legion of tween girls that packed her sold-out Liacouras Center show at Temple University on Friday night, you'd gather the Brit lass with the long blond tresses, black hoodie, and short-shorts was their nice pop-top goddess and theirs alone: Miley without the crotch shots.
Goulding's girl fans wriggled and leapt at every tousle of their fan-fave's hair and knew the words to such teen-tone hits as the slickly crunching "Figure 8" and its romantic "not too old to die young" kid-nihilism, the gently soulful "You're My Everything," and the glittering "Anything Can Happen." The throng cheered when she introduced that last silvery song with a whisper: "If you're like me, you're shy most of the time. If you want to let yourself go, now is the time." With that, Goulding identified herself with both the timid and the torrid side of adolescence - which brings up the other side of Goulding, one with a moodily atmospheric art rocker's edge of glitch-synth ambiance and abstract sensualist lyricism that could make her Kate Bush's spiritual niece.