Poeticalness in Music: Florence and the Machine
Do you ever wonder why we listen to music?
Some people say that listening to music helps them relax and feel at calm; many vocalists have a dreamy voice that will help you achieve this. You can find yourself listening to them for hours, just sitting there and admiring the lyrics and the magical atmosphere they create. Well, Florence Welch is one of these musicians.
Florence and the Machine is an English indie rock band that was formed in 2007. The band, still very much active today, is known for its dramatic, dark, and mythical music. It includes different instrumentalists, including the keyboard, drums, violin, harp, xylophone, percussion players. To this day, the band has published 5 studio albums.
The band was created on a whim, a spontaneous initiative for Florence Welch and Isabella Summers. Entering their first gig, they did not even have a name in mind. At that point, the band was called Isabella the Machine; only a little later, the band switched to Florence + the Machine.
Florence Welch is an intriguing person to many. She is introverted and has had a fear of standing on a stage, as it is told in her stories about her first days in performing. She also mentioned how she lost sleep and cried on the nights before a performance, and how doing interviews were even more difficult.
Florence Welch in an Interview
If you wonder from where comes Florence's poetry, it is right in front of our eyes. Like they always tell, when looking for answers, look through the childhood period. Florence lived in a room where there were paintings on the wall, a gothic fireplace, and no space of her own. Living with her mother seems to have affected her life from a young age as she mentions in her interviews. If the aim is to understand the creative process, however, we should look more at the music she created rather than some childhood memories.
The band's first album, Lungs, gave them an energetic and catchy start. The lyrics for the album are like a story as Florence writes:
Happiness hit her like a train on a track Coming towards her stuck still no turning back She hid around corners and she hid under beds She killed it with kisses and from it she fled With every bubble she sank with her drink And washed it away down the kitchen sink
It seems as though her personal stories had a large impact on her creative process and writing. The next album, Ceremonials, is also a fan favorite with similar lyrics.
Ceremonials is a bit darker than Lungs. The instrumentals are improved in terms of their harmony. With this album, the band started to take on bigger performances and festivals, something fans enjoyed quite a bit. It looked complementary with performances and deep interviews given by Florence. This album opened a new path for them. The band got a soundtrack offer for the famous show Game of Thrones as well as movies like The Great Gatsby, Snow White, and the Huntsman. The mythologic poeticism helped them with these offers. A related example is the lyrics on Seven Devils:
Holy water cannot help you now See, I've come to burn your kingdom down And no rivers and no lakes can put the fire out I 'm gonna raise the stakes I'm gonna smoke you out
The next two albums, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, and High as Hope, helped the band get more publicity and nominate for prestigious awards like the 58th Grammy Awards. The expected success of High as Hope was strongly impacted by the pandemic. There was a lack of the poetic atmosphere that performances had given no festivals happened. Yet, Florence released the song Light of Love, which helped funding the Intensive Care Society.
Florence Welch at Tempelhof Sounds 2022
The last album, Dance Fever, shook off the dust after the pandemic. With a collection of energetic and empowering dance songs, Florence and the Machine captured the essence of what was needed by society. Considering how well everything has been, they are considered an inspiration to other poetic souls.
Dance Fever album cover
Florence and the Machine became a sensation with these albums, festivals, concerts, and funding organizations. They helped the music world really understand that the music is not just lyrics and musicality but rather a whole package with environment and acts.