New Music: Florence + the Machine

One of the most interesting bands coming out of the U.K. today is Florence + the Machine. I first discovered it while studying abroad in Brighton, U.K. and fell in love with its sound which I can only describe as being soulful, indie pop.

Fronted by redhead bombshell Florence Welch, only 22, Florence + the machine is coming into the international spotlight after playing the Reading, Leeds and prestigious Glastonbury music festivals around the United Kingdom this summer to critical acclaim.

Though Florence + the Machine has a strong musical following in its home country, the band is slowly garnering acclaim on this side of the pond. Its debut album, “Lungs,” was released this summer in both the U.K. and U.S. and has attracted critics’ attention, spawning several single releases as well as music videos.

Perhaps one of the most popular songs of its original LP release, “A Lot of Love, A Lot of Blood,” is “Kiss with a fist,” an uptempo song describing a tumultuous relationship filled with violence and repeats the chorus, “a kiss with a fist is better than none.” This song is featured in the upcoming Megan Fox movie trailer for “Jennifer’s Body.”

The marketability of Florence + the machine is constantly visible, but most of its fans aren’t interested in buying scrubbing bubbles, or going to see movies when it comes to Florence + the machine– for most, it’s about the relationship to the listener and humility of its music.

Florence + the machine brings a constant story to the table, whether it’s Welch’s struggles with an abusive relationship or alcoholism and the recovery process the album reads like a diary. This one though, filled with angst and scars that it seems will never heal, but perhaps Welch is hoping that by articulating her experiences into songs this can help her move on.

Her latest video for “Rabbit heart (Raise it Up)” clearly defines the band as a whole. It’s premise is a sacrifice, throughout the video Welch is prepared for a sacrificial ritual and eventually placed in a coffin that is set out to sea.

The chorus repeats, “This is a gift, it comes with a price.” The video is moving, but the song alone brought thousands of people to tears at Glastonbury music festival, the largest and premier festival for new music.

Though the future is unclear for Florence + the machine , we as listeners can only hope that Welch has enough life experience to write several more soulful, personal and moving albums without losing sight of her seemingly bright future.


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