Florence + The Machine…by Michelle S
Formed in 2007, this South London Band is comprised of Florence Welch and Isabella “Machine” Summers and includes musicians Robert Ackroyd (guitar and backing vocals), Chris Hayden (drums, percussion and backing vocals), Mark Saunders (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Tom Monger (harp). They signed with Island Records in November of 2008. Soon after, their critically acclaimed debut album, Lungs, followed in July 2009 and quickly became one of the year’s most popular releases in U.K. with four singles on the Top 40 Singles Charts in less than 12 months. Since then, they haven’t stopped touring, recording or creating. Ceremonials was released in 2011, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful in 2015, and High as Hope in 2018. They also tease fans with new music via social media.
The band became mainstream with their platinum singles “Dog Days Are Over,” which became an anthem hit in the U.S. and was featured in the movie trailers of “Eat Pray Love” “they also did a great cover of Candi Staton & The Source’s 1986 hit “You Got The Love” and lastly, “Shake It Out” which completely highlight’s Welch powerful vocals and is on their Ceremonials album. If you think you haven’t heard this band, trust me, you’ve heard their music as they have been featured on a list of television and movies soundtracks that is too long to mention!
Check out this video with Florence and Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age
It’s really hard to categorize this band into one musical category, but if you had to, I would say mostly alternative rock with a lot meandering’s in folk, pop and other worldly realms. It also really depends on what album you’re listening to. Their debut album Lungs follows the lines of personal and social conflicts that Welch was dealing with at the time, while Ceremonials was more focused on life, death and transcendence. A painful breakup fueled How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful and their last album High as Hope is Welch and the band, coming to terms with a variety of personal demons that they had to confront in their lives. It’s very cathartic and healing in a good way.
People as well as critics tend to compare Welch’s voice to the likes of Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Stevie Nicks, Grace Slick, Patti Smith, PJ Harvey among others. I can agree with this to a certain extent, but she has the vocal chops to push her voice even further than some of the greats that she is compared to. You can make your own decision on this…Enjoy!