On the recent MTV Video Music Awards (on which host Chelsea Handler proved to be a decidedly questionable) Florence + The Machine performed for the first time stateside their then-rising hit “Dog Days Are Over.”
Now, if you never heard the song before, which at that point I had not, it caught me totally off guard.
Second, her appearance and stage show was nothing short of amazing. If I didn’t know better, I would have predicted instant stardom for her after that, what with a great visual presentation and a great song.
But the fickle finger of fate sometimes works in strange ways. A month later, the song was a huge hit and her debut album Lungs has just now been released and, after one thorough listen, it’s simply outstanding.
“I want my music to sound like throwing yourself out of a tree, or off a tall building, or as you’re being sucked down into the ocean and you can’t breathe” says Florence aka Florence Welch.
“It’s something overwhelming and all-encompassing that fills you up, and you’re either going to explode with it, or you’re just going to disappear,” she says describing her music.
Her soaring, epic vocals, quirky melodies and self-contained musical world have already won her the 2009 Critics Choice Award at the Brit Awards. the UK equivalent of the Grammys.
Some compare her to Kate Bush with touches of Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Bjork. but she’s definitely an original.
Honestly, her punk/new wave pro-forma nuances remind me of Christina and Lydia Lunch. Remember them?
Actually, I’m moved to predict she’s the best original artist to come out of Britain since Amy Winehouse.
Her debut album is filled with harps, choirs, drums, elevator shafts, bits of metal, love, death, fireworks, string quartets, stamping, sighing, strange electronic wailing, lambs, lions, sick, broken glass, blood, moon, stars, drink, coffins, teeth, water and wedding dresses. And the silences in between, so says her official bio.
We’re actually quite in love with most of it, most notably the tracks “Rabbit Heart,” “Howl” and ”Girl With One Eye.” Need audio stimulation? Check out Florence Welch!