It’s been almost four years since Florence + The Machine released their critically acclaimed album, Ceremonials, back in 2011. 2012 was a successful year for the band, seeing a popular Calvin Harris remix of the Ceremonials single “Spectrum” become the band’s first UK number-one hit. In late 2012, lead singer Florence Welch announced what she called a kind of “take a year off plan”.
But the indie rock band are back with a bang with their latest album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Interestingly, despite the lengthy hiatus, the album seems to preserve that je ne sais quoi that is unique to their well-known sound. In particular, already popular tracks “Ship to Wreck” and “What Kind of Man” provide that kind of balladic, emotional quality fans grew to love in famous hits, “You’ve Got the Love” and “Dog Days are Over”.
But these new tracks seem to add a new dimension of emotional heartache. They are painful, powerful, passionate. Combined with the well-choreographed video clips that can’t help but be compared to Sia’s famous “Chandelier” music video, these songs pack an emotional punch.
With 16 songs running for one hour and nine minutes, the album is, frankly, slightly repetitious. Songs like “Various Storms & Saints” and “Long & Lost” are slightly more dark, and “Mother” has a subtle yodelling quality to it, but once it’s over and done with, the album tends to become one lump of homogenous – but admittedly decent – Florence + The Machinery.
Hometown: London, UK.
Latest album: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, released 29 May, 2015.
Sounds like: Sia, Lorde.
Say What? Florence Welch’s first band was called Toxic Cockroaches.
With sweet summer kisses from Cath