Florence + the Machine
About Florence + the Machine
Florence + The Machine’s grand art-pop cuts straight to the essence of raw emotion—no matter how bruised and bloody the result. The London band began to form in 2007, when singer Florence Welch, who had been floating between different projects, found her artistic match in childhood friend and keyboardist/producer Isabella “Machine” Summers. The duo soon recruited four more members to help fully realize their vision, influenced in part by ambitious collectives like Arcade Fire. In that vein, Florence + The Machine’s 2009 debut album, Lungs, came stacked with rousing anthems like “Kiss with a Fist” and “Dog Days Are Over,” all propelled by pounding rhythms and orchestral strings and fueled by a desire—or rather a need—for catharsis. “With songwriting, I really like to embody the things I was afraid of as a child. I like to kind of embody that voice,” Welch explained to Apple Music. “It’s like an exorcism almost.” That passion for delving into the darker outskirts of the mind infuses everything the band does, including bringing their cinematic sound to the screen with the 2016 release of short film The Odyssey, whose Dante-inspired scenes are strung together with heartache-drenched songs from 2015’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. That braveness also dictates not only Welch’s lyrics—which hit on topics as taboo as suicide and self-destruction (“The End of Love”) and as profound as simply letting go (the Grammy-nominated “Shake It Out”)—but also the way she delivers them, with the bewitching wail of a siren unleashed.