For anyone who pays attention to music in the mainstream and widely distributed, Florence + The Machine is a name well known. This girl has been on fire since hitting the scene back in 09 with her debut “Lungs” and hit single “Dog Days Are Over”. Though it’s been a slow ride the past couple years, Florence Welch shows absolutely no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
The new album “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” is coming to the world in just over a month. Fans and music lovers alike have been treated to a handful of new singles, video clips, a Record Store Day exclusive track and a slew of live gigs promoting the new material.
Long time producer Markus Dravs heads up the production on the record, with other familiar partnerships like Paul Epworth, John Hill and James Ford rounding out the lot of collaborative effort. Some of which can be noted as a creative departure from the sound and essence featured on the previous 2 albums.
Regarding this change in themes, Welch said in a interview:
“I guess although I’ve always dealt in fantasy and metaphor when I came to writing, that meant the songs this time were dealing much more in reality. Ceremonials was so fixated on death and water,and the idea of escape or transcendence through death,but the new album became about trying to learn how to live, and how to love in the world rather than trying to escape from it. Which is frightening because I’m not hiding behind anything but it felt like something I had to do.”
This shift in creativity has created a sound that is much more grounded and organic than 2011’s glacial and hugely orchestrated “Ceremonials” -the band’s sophomore effort. On many occasions, Florence has spoken on inspiration for the tracks, stemming from what the singer dubs as possibly her darkest period in life.
Hot off promotion and touring from “Ceremonials”, Florence made clear she needed a break and was not being rushed to put out any new material by the label. This allowed Florence to take some much needed time for herself.
What had come with this time was a self-labeled personal breakdown. Something we all are familiar with. While touring her demons instead of the stage this past year, her new album is expected to have a real cocoon diaries feel to it.
“With this record I feel the boundaries with who I am on stage and off stage, there’s not really much separation which feels good. Having spent some time away from touring and that whole thing, and actually having a year where I just had to be myself. Coming back it’s almost as if you don’t want to put up those walls, you just want to be yourself. It feels good to finally be playing these songs as it was such an insular process of making them, it feels good to bring them out.”
So far we’ve seen 3 official release from the LP. Starting with “What Kind of Man”, the angst-ridden, heavy breakup anthem. As the first taste of this period in Florence’s life it is clear she is taking no prisoners on this path through pain and self discovery. “St. Jude” and the folk-esque track “Ship to Wreck” came next, adding continuity to the this journey. Vincent Haycock offers up his directing chops with each single off the record. Giving the music a visual coherence and telling the story of the introspective map that is “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful”.
Check em out on her YouTube page, they are beautiful. Also, check out her full Coachella set up on various steaming sites as well! Flo’s live presence is something so eerily enthralling and out of this world. An old soul with a fresh contemporary approach to the here and now.
Florence + The Machine are this year’s big name headliners at Osheaga’s 10th Anniversary festival. If you caught their show at the festival a few years back you know they are not to be missed! Are you feeling the Big, Beautiful, Blue world of Florence Welch?