“Happiness hit her like a train on a track.”
This charged lyric opens Florence + The Machine’s 2009 debut, “Lungs.” It is simultaneously intriguing, morbid and beautiful - just like the album itself. “The Dog Days Are Over,” the opening number of “Lungs” (from which that quote is taken) has proven itself to be the driving force for Florence Welch’s fame.
Here is the official music video for “Dog Days Are Over”:
The a red-haired London-born songstress and singer, following in the steps of her art historian mother Evelyn and her rock and roll loving father Nick, created a transcendent album that entwines several genres of music with dark, symbolic lyricism. And most interesting of all, “Lungs” has proved effortlessly marketable because of its epic tendencies. Welch, with the help of her band of session musicians called The Machine, dominated England and Europe in 2009 and made her way over to the U.S. in late 2010 as part of the New British Invasion.
“Dog Days” reached number one in the U.S. iTunes Charts after her performance on the MTV Video Music Awards. It then hit number 9 on Billboard’s Alternative and Rock Charts, peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was used throughout the advertising campaign of the Julia Roberts film, “Eat, Pray, Love.” The song was enough of a sensation that the cast of the breakout Fox TV show “Glee” performed a cover of the song one of their recent episodes.
The rest of "Lungs" produced similar, if not better, singles that didn’t quite make the impact of “Dog Days” stateside. Singles such as “Kiss With a Fist,” Rabbit Heart,” “You’ve Got the Love,” “Drumming Song” and “Cosmic Love” are standouts from an all-around stellar album. To watch the rest of Florence + The Machine’s inspired music videos, follow this link to her YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/FlorenceMachineVEVO.
The best track of the non-singles is undoubtedly “Howl” a lycanthropic tale about desire with a cleverly inserted quote from the 1941 Universal monster film, “The Wolf Man.” Here is a live performance of the stellar “Howl”:
But before a listener can even begin to breach any of the inspired songwriting in “Lungs,” he has to get over the phenomenal power of Welch’s voice.
When I first heard Florence + The Machine’s first single, “Kiss With A Fist” through a music blog in mid 2008, I couldn’t get over that voice. Not until the third listen did I begin to grasp the song’s great concept. From day one I knew something special was on my iPod.
By 2010 Florence was on U.S. TV and was even part of the worldwide “Twilight Saga: Eclipse” phenomenon with her single “Heavy In Your Arms.” Now we eagerly await Flo’s newest album due sometime this year, which according to an MTV UK interview will deal with less “blood and guts” this time around. “... ‘I think it was like lyrically we're moving away from the blood and guts of the first album.’ “Welch added: ‘The first one was animal and anatomical and this one is chemical and elemental but my thought process changes so quickly from one song to the other so I can never say what the whole theme of the album is going to be.’”
Whatever it is, it’s sure to be monumental.
Florence +The Machine’s album “Lungs” is out now in record stores and digitally through retailers like iTunes. Follow the iTunes link to purchase.
Don’t forget to catch Florence’s appearance, where she will perform an acoustic version of the standout “Cosmic Love” on “Gossip Girl” Monday, February 7 at 8 p.m. (central) on The CW. Here is a screencap of Flo performing in the upcoming episode:
And the music video for “Cosmic Love” :This is the fourth installment of Luis Noble’s “The New British Invasion” blog series. The next Brit to be featured will be up-and-comer Jessie J.
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