High As Hope
“Before, I thought I ran on a chaos engine,” Florence Welch told the Guardian in June 2018, shortly ahead of the release of High as Hope. “But the more peaceful I am, the more I can give to the work. I can address things I wasn’t capable of doing before.” This newfound openness gives her band’s fourth LP an unvarnished vulnerability. “Hunger” will sit proudly among her most personal and beautiful songs, while “South London Forever” and “Grace” both make peace with the excesses that decorated her rise to fame. Such lyrical heft affords the Londoners a chance to explore a more delicate, restrained sound, but there’s still space for Welch to blow the roof off. A fiery confessional that majestically takes to the skies and forms the album’s centerpiece, “100 Years” uncorks some vintage Florence. No one, we’re reminded, chronicles sadness quite so exquisitely, or explosively.