Three years ago, I was surfing YouTube to explore new artists and musical tastes. I came across with this incredible, angelic band called Florence and the Machine. The first song I ever listened to from this band was ‘’Cosmic Love’’. I thought that this song, which gives me goose bumps every time I listen to it, could not be from our planet. Later on, I became a big fan of the band. I listened to every song from every album….. three times a day. I had gone insane.
The group leader and the main singer, Florence Welch, must have been sent to Earth from heaven by God. If you have ever watched any of the band’s live performances, you would have noticed that Florence has two personalities. Before she starts singing, you see the naive, shy and pure side of her. She seems like she is afraid of talking. After she starts singing, her wild, powerful and attractive side, which I like most, appears. With her voice, she beats the microphone and giving all the audience an incredibly satisfying feeling.
However, the band could not be completed without the two other super talented human beings, who are Tom Monger, the harpist, and Robert Ackroyd, the guitarist.Tom Monger is probably one of the most talented harpists on Earth. The harp is not just an instrument for him. When he plays it, he feels it. He uses it as a third arm. Every single time he touches the strings when he plays his solo, your ears feel alive. Robert Ackroyd, the guitarist, is the member who gives the final touch to the songs. He is the last piece of the puzzle. When the puzzle needs a smooth piece, his fingers turn into feathers, and when the puzzle needs a sharp piece, his fingers turn into iron. If I imagine the band as a chocolate cake, Florence Welch is the cake dough, which is the main material, Tom Monger, the harpist, is the chocolate creme, and Robert Ackroyd, the guitarist, is the Hershey’s kisses on top.
The first music which showed us the style and the behavior of Florence and the Machine were the first and the second albums. The band created its own unique style which I had never seen before their first album. That style was extremely indie, cosmic, powerful and calm at the same time. The term cosmic is what best describes the bands uniqueness. It may not be the right term, but I cannot find any better word to describe it. By saying cosmic, one means that this style came to our planet with the existence of Florence and the Machine. This style takes you far away from our mainstream world to unexplored, magical dream lands.
I wish they had kept the same style for their last album “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (HBHBHB)”, because the fact that had initially made me addicted to this band was their ‘’cosmic’’ style. For HBHBHB, I felt that it had become more Earthly and less indie. It has turned its face to the pop culture and has lost the way to magical dream lands. Maybe, however, it is just because Florence and the Machine explored everything in this land, and wanted to move on. I still can not deny how gorgeous this album is. HBHBHB is more like a movie than a music album. Every video clip is connected to the other ones and every single one of them has a story. While you are watching it, you forget everything, and you lose yourself inside the artistic fantasy world of Florence and the Machine. The dance figures, the songs, the techniques, basically everything mesmerizes you.
I want to finish this article by giving you some song suggestions. From the cosmic styled albums, “Lungs” and ‘’Ceremonials’’, I suggest; ‘’Cosmic Love’’, ‘’Rabbit Heart’’ and ‘’Drumming Song’’. Additionally, I highly recommend listening to KEXP live versions of these songs. From the less cosmic, more worldly and artistic album, I suggest ‘’Ship to Wreck’’, and highly recommend that you watch all video clips in order, so that you can find yourself in her story.
Long live one of the best Indie music bands!
Author: Alper Ustuntas
Editor: Shy Zvouloun