A band which I’ve been into for a while now is Florence + the Machine (Florence). It was in 2008 when through some indie rock play list that I had found online I came across a demo cut of The Girl with One Eye. Watch a live performance of this song from way back when:
I instantly fell in love with the dark lyrics, amazing vocals and bare instrumentation of the song. Now, a little over 2 years later, Florence has gone on to win a VMA for Best Art Direction in a Video and apparently gave away the most amazing performance at Sunday night’s award show. Clearly, Florence’s star is rising and quickly at that.
Florence + the Machine is really about lead singer Florence Welch. The name comes from when she performed with a friend called Isa Summers. They called themselves Florence Robot & Isa Machine, which Florence then adapted when she started playing solo gigs to: Florence Robot is a Machine. However, that name didn’t quite stick with promoters, so she later changed it. Her album is called Lungs and follows the same trend as I discovered in that first song. The songs are often dark and gritty using expressive drums and Florence’s amazing set of pipes all contribute to the very unique sound.
Her rise to fame all began through the BBC, which heavily promoted her in her native UK. In 2009 she won the Critics’ Choice award at that year’s Brit awards and in that same year she was included in the annual NME Award Tour. Earlier this year she took home another Brit award and than there’s that VMA.
Lungs is hands down one of my favorite, if not my favorite, album of 2009 and so when I got the opportunity to see her live in February I bought myself a ticket and went. The performance was really good. With Florence having great interactions with the crowd and it is clear that she has fun with what she does. She made her way through a fairly long set, and all the crowd favorites certainly made an appearance. The performance included a live band (The Machine) which consisted of keys, drums, harp and guitar. But it was clear from the start that the performance is all about Ms Welch. All the things I loved about the album, were also present in the performance and it amazed me how well Florence sings. Her voice keeps up miraculously well despite the demanding type of songs she sings. She sings all songs like it’s a matter of life or death and gives herself for the full 100%. It is what I liked most about it
Florence + the Machine is definitely here to stay, with a new album in the making and a song on the Twilight Eclipse soundtrack, the video for which premiered yesterday. Watch ‘Heavy in Your Arms’:
My favorite songs by Florence + the Machine:
– Drumming Song
– Hurricane Drunk
– Dog Days are Over:
^^2010 music video which won the VMA.
– Bird Song
^^ This song is only available on the Deluxe edition of the album Lungs.