Indie pop queen’s second take

By Boitumelo Masihleho


The fire-red hair, the haute-couture styled costumes paired with the haunting yet powerful voice make indie rock band Florence and The Machine (styled as Florence + The Machine) the leaders in this genre of music. Leader singer Florence Welch and Isabella ?Machine? Summers, who works as a co-songwriter and producer, have done it again with their new album, Ceremonials, released in October 2011.

Their debut album, Lungs, was rumored to be inspired by her temporary separation from Stuart Hammond, a literary editor, and Ceremonials to have been provided with material from their break-up in 2011. Whatever the inspiration might be Ceremonials is much bigger, louder and better then the British band?s first album, making them a force to be reckoned with. Producer Paul Epworth who has worked with fellow British artist Adele on her song ?Rolling in the Deep?, has made the album sound luxurious with orchestral embellishments with bells, shimmers, harps and keyboards and a choir

The album begins with ?Only If For Night? is a soft-loud teaser to the ears. The album?s popular song ?Shake It Out? is anthem for many and a favourite for me. The lyrics ?and it?s hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake him out,? give a sense of continuing the dance of life by over-coming life?s hardship all powered by Welch?s voice paired with the sounds of organs, strings and the voices of a choir of friends. Welch has been compared to the likes of Bjork, Lily Allen and Kate Bush.  Her link to Bush is seen in the melodies of ?All This and Heaven Too?, a song promising the earth and the heavens to understand the person she is in love with

Welch?s comparison to Adele and Amy Winehouse make little sense other than their British origin. The style of the band is dark, romantic, haunting and at the same time hearty, and stylized as indie pop, soul and baroque pop as well. The most beautiful ballad the band has ever done is ?Never Let Me Go? with an Evanescence feel to it, with lyrics such as ?and all this devotion was rushing out of me and the crashes are heaven for a sinner like me. The arms of the ocean deliver me.? This song gives a feeling of being consumed in someone?s love and how she tries to fight yet in the end she accepts it.

Ceremonials has produced the band?s first UK number one hit with ?Spectrum (Say My Name)? being remixed by Scottish artist Calvin Harris to bring a song that will played on dance floors in clubs around the world. Welch has been stated that she wanted ?a more dark, more heavy, bigger drum sound, bigger bass, but with more of a whole sound,? for this album and that is exactly what she got. Still keeping in touch with issues of love, pain, death and time as Lungs, Ceremonials provides a feeling of satisfaction that anyone could ever want from a musician

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