Thoughts for Tonight: Florence and the Machine

Last week’s column surrounded an, apparently, radio-friendly Jamie T. Sticking with the radio-friendly themes for this week’s Thoughts for Tonight; I find myself, for the third week running, listening to Florence and the Machine’s Lungs, pretty much, on repeat.

Florence and the Machine shot to relative recognition last year with their song ‘Kiss with a Fist’. The song was synonymous to the conformity of punk-inspired pop that migrated and filled out the airwaves last summer in Britain; it was dull, severely lackluster, and despite its fast-paced tempo, fell down completely.

I had little hope of liking this Florence Welch fronted group; yet sure enough Radio 1 begins playing ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)’ and I fall in love. Gone is any desire to mimic indie or punk, and in its place, a beautiful songwriter has emerged. A songwriter who flirts with both delicate, chilling falsettos, and fierce but warm climaxes. Her voice is her best instrument, and Christ is it quite something.

Comparisons have been made to Kate Bush, or Tori Amos, and they aren’t unfair; yet a closer connection can be seen with the likes of Feist or Regina Spektor. These contemporary comparisons should by no means be an insult to her talent; she has a pop sensibility that makes her radio-friendly and yet simultaneously has the quirky edge thats going to appeal to the musical elite. Her album spans folk, jazz, pop, and blues; and that’s just the on-the-surface diagnosis. Beneath the surface there’s a selection of songs that we’ll all be falling in love with for years to come.

Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)