Florence and Machine Take Over

By Kelly Frielinghaus

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British band Florence and the Machine are the leaders on the indie rock scene. Florence Welch and her band (the machine) have released their second album Ceremonials in October, 2011. Their new album debuted at the top spot on the UK lists and number six in the US respectively. The group has won some prestigious awards including the Mastercard British Album Award in 2010 for their first studio album Lungs.

The formation of the band originated with Welch and long-time friend Isabella Summers-who is currently the background vocals and pianist. Other band members include Chris Hayden (drums and percussion); Robert Ackroyd (guitar and backing vocals); Mark Saunders (bass guitar) and Tom Monger (harp).

The band?s success can be attributed to their smooth, soulful vocals and cool beats. Their music appears to be a combination of genres blended together, which gives them that ?x-factor? above other bands. I would describe Florence Welch?s lyrics as interesting, dark and memorable. The listener can feel that Welch is singing from the heart. Her vocals are crystal clear and her range can reach a high pitch or a low alto, mind the English accent though. Her guitarists, drummer, and pianist all add that essential flavour to the sound.

My personal favourites off the Ceremonials album include ?Shake it Out?; ?Spectrum (Say My Name)? featuring Calvin Harris; and ?Sweet Nothing?. The band?s style of music has been referenced to the Baroque period as it resembles classical soul with an arty edge. This is mainly due to their dark, romantic lyrics, because Florence often sings about her feelings regarding death, heaven and hell. Not to be put off- the way she sings them is truly beautiful and upbeat! Florence has been compared to the likes of Kate Bush, PJ Harvey and Bj??rk to name a few. It is rumoured that most of the content she writes about is linked to her on/off relationship with literary editor Stuart Hammond. I think that writing lyrics from personal experiences gives not only great poetic license, but also gives quality and a raw feeling to the song. Her fans can relate to what she is singing about whether it is: happiness, heart break, triumphs, or difficulties.

The response to the music produced by Florence and the Machine has been phenomenal. After attracting audiences across the United Kingdom, the band have gone on successful tours of the US and Europe. The band is also a firm favourite and a regular request at international music festivals. Florence recently performed a special concert at the wedding of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. The singer has been described by The Sunday Times as ?the most peculiar and most highly acclaimed female singer of the moment?.

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