Florence and the Machine

It’s the desperation and the recklessness and the pure, red hot, energy, that gets me with Florence and the Machine.

I’m normally safe in my listening material. I know that my head can easily swerve off course with a little minor harmonisation. I have learnt to watch what I subject my ears to, however appealing anguished wailing or sombre melodics can be –

Florence and the Machine hits a strange balance: it gets the dark side – but it buoys you up.

It explores the things that we feel but rarely say – without being too much. It balances anger and anguish and despair – with exhilaration and delight and a strange kind of poignancy.

It’s strangely liberating to hear the rawness of human experience. It’s a little less threatening when it’s accompanied by a great base line. It’s a little less overwhelming when you find yourself buzzing with energy, when you want to sing rather than scream.

I’m not sure how she’s achieved it. I don’t know whether it’s the changes in tempo that lead you or the incredibly emotive and strangely sensuous voice. It might be the words – though I haven’t caught them all – or a clever trick with the harmonisation. It’s immaterial really – because, for whatever reason, I’m recognising what she’s singing and that’s the important thing.

Whatever’s going on for me, she says in a way that I can’t – and, as charged as that may be, it feels a lot better in that context.

Whatever emotions ‘Lungs’ is tapping into, I’d rather connect through music; I’d rather explore it through a shared voice than try to make sense of it by myself –

– and, when it’s the excitement that’s contagious – well, I’m going with that too; because, it’s rare to get a listening experience that spans the whole human spectrum so well; that takes you to so many places in such a short space of time.

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