Florence and Isa are back at it this year with the long awaited sophomore album of Florence + the Machine. In case you didn’t know, Isabella Summers and Florence Welch started it all, and Isa’s nickname is The Machine, hence the name.
I had a chance to meet and briefly chat with Florence at her first Coachella appearance a few years ago. In the moments we chatted and took a portrait (the one below), you could feel her spirit. Dancing away into the vast crowd in a flowing printed dress, she remains a soulful superpower of today’s music. The new album is called Ceremonials, and I think you’re going to like it.
The overall sound of the album has been double dipped in a genre I think John Gourley coined as echohaus. There’s an illuminating light-shine energy on just about every track, and the albums opening track Only If For a Night’s harps made me picture falling leaves. Imagery is abundant and not unexpected here, and beyond this track.
Another favorite of mine was What the Water Gave Me. I didn’t know that this was a single from the album until after I had listen through the album a few times, but it was a good decision on their part to put it out there as one of the best songs. There are several powerful choruses on the album, and this is one of them, both audibly and lyrically. It was more a mantra than a chorus really:
Lay me down Let the only sound Be the overflow Pockets full of stones
The album even closes out well, which I find so rare in albums. Usually, there’s a great second-to-last song, then a lackluster ending, but Leave My Body is a woman’s empowering masterpiece about independence, the idea of shedding all unneeded inhibitions. The choir belts out the choruses after strong buildups, among power kick drums and consistent keys.
Even so, my favorite song on the album by far was somewhere in the middle, Seven Devils. When I first heard it on a cold night drive to Santa Maria, I played it a few times in a row it was so good. The imagery is gloomy, yet transcendent. The piano haunts, and the kick drum makes you turn up the bass and grove to the simple, yet explosive instrumentals. For some reason, one of the first thoughts that came to me when hearing this is that Maynard Keenan would sound great on a cover of this song; the chorus especially worthy of the mighty Tool front man. Additionally, the harps in a latter chorus contribute playfully, but remain beautiful and important. It’s the little things, like Florence plainly speaking the chorus lyrics while a choir belts it out, which made this a great song.
Florence + the Machine being their (so far) short tour in late November in Sydney, Australia, and will be California bound the second week of December, so be sure to check it out on their website. Their new album, Ceremonials is out now, so get your echohaus on!
Until next time my friends,