My longstanding obsession with Florence Welch seems to ignite every time I hear one of her songs. Her bands full name is Florence + The Machine, and they are mostly put into the Alternative or Indie Rock categories, although she sometimes collaborates with pop artists too. The first time I saw her perform, it was my freshman year of high school and The Weeknd was her opening artist, which no one even knew yet. I was a big fan of hers at the time but it wasn’t until I saw her live that I truly understood what she was capable of. A couple years later, she came back to San Diego on her own tour again, and I told my dad he needed to see her. My dad is the one who introduced me to a lot of music growing up, so I knew that he would appreciate her performance. She ended up putting on one of the best concerts I have ever seen, even to this day.
The song that particularly inspired me to write this post about her is her cover to Stand By Me. Below is a video attachment of the song (Soundcloud didn’t have a full version, so YouTube it is!)
The first time I heard this song was actually at work through the Pandora station we had going at the time. I was so blown away by her voice, as always, and tried to find it as soon as I got off.
Since Florence + The Machine has alternative roots to their sound, they tend to incorporate a lot of instruments into their songs. One of my favorite songs is How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, which is the name of her third album as well. I actually wasn’t a huge fan of this song until I saw it live and Florence was explaining that, the night before this particular concert her uncle had died. She stated how this song was about the sky, and how much closer he must be to it now. Once she gave this speech, I heard the lyrics differently. But the best part of this song is the very end of it. She cuts into a musical interlude for about 2.40 minutes and the strong use of trumpet and violin create a strong and moving piece of music. LUCKILY, Florence cut this music video into two “chapters” and the second chapter features this part. So I posted it below, not as much for the video content but mostly to I could show how beautiful it is.
Florence is famous for her use of the harp, and actively incorporates it into her indie rock songs. One of my favorite songs by her is Cosmic Love, which uses it for most of the melody. During one of her shows, she stated that she was very hungover one morning and one of her friends forced her to sit down and write a song, and this is what came out of it! This version is acoustic (which I think highlights her vocals more anyway) but if you are interested, I highly recommend listening to the album version as well.
In order, her albums so far are Lungs, Ceremonials, and How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Every album she has put out has been great, and like I mentioned in my Khalid post, it is very intriguing for me to find entire albums of great songs, and Florence does it every time. Just in general too, Florence is so funny, down to earth, and really presents herself as humble and kind. I would love to just hang out with her for a couple hours and hang out. I also had such a hard time writing this post because every time I would find a song to talk about, I would end up listening to her music for 5 extra minutes.
To conclude, I made a playlist on Soundcloud of songs by her that are free (which is why this playlist is only a couple songs) so please enjoy, and hopefully we can all share in the obsession that is