REVIEW: Florence + the Machine drops stunning singles in anticipation of their sixth album
‘Heaven is Here,’ ‘King’ and ‘My Love’ tell stories of womanhood, love and self acceptance
Florence + the Machine’s long awaited sixth studio album, “Dance Fever,” is set to be released May 13. To give fans a taste, the band has released three singles leading up to the album drop. “Heaven is Here,” “King” and “My Love” also include music videos that give way to a larger narrative sure to be present throughout the album which explores the power of womanhood and self realization.
The song and music video alike feature a soulful, yet rhythmic energy which sucks the listener into Florence + the Machine’s emotional world. The rhythmic, flamenco-style chanting of the song complements the rough exterior of lyrics such as “And I ride in my red dress/ And time stretchеs endless/ With my gun in my hand/ You know I always get my man.” While the song gives a vibe more attune to winter than spring, the band has no struggle creating a lyrical and holistic experience for fans. The melody sounds almost hollow, accompanied by sprinklings of background acoustics. Rather than making the song sound unfinished, Florence + the Machine is able to emphasize the lyrics over the silences. Florence + the Machine keep fans’ expectations high with this unexplored sound.
Carrying the same themes from the “Heaven is Here'' music video, “King” contains moody dark imagery of an over-dramatic love story. Even the opening line, “We argue in the kitchen about whether to have children/ About the world ending and the scale of my ambition/ And how much is art really worth,” sets up the song and video with a dramatic and artistic tug of war full of grisly visuals. The singer expresses her independence and releases all attachments and ties to anyone but herself. Florence + the Machine beautifully tells the story of a woman realizing her own potential and independence in a way that isn’t often expressed lyrically in lines like “I am no mother/ I am no bride/ I am king.” With a sound truer to their previous work, the band boldly and successfully explores a narrative not often told through audio and video elements.
The final single of Florence + the Machine’s recent releases gives way to even more drama than its predecessors. Though more upbeat, this song expresses the grief that comes with having so much to give and nowhere to put it. The singer laments, “So tell me where to put my love/ Do I wait for time to do what it does?/ I don't know where to put my love.” The music video features bright colors and a classical Hollywood theme which highlights the gaudiness of the story being told. Though this seems inconsistent with previous videos, which contained the same setting and themes, elements like frozen background characters, messy makeup and ghoulish dancers who have traveled through all three videos tie everything together and create anticipation for the upcoming album which is sure to finish the narrative.
Florence + the Machine’s first album since 2018 is already looking to exceed expectations after the harrowing and dramatic themes of its first three singles. The songs and their respective videos give fans classic vocals and sounds that the band is known for while continuing to surprise and astound with beautiful lyrics and imagery. “Dance Fever” is sure to impress if it sounds anything like its leading singles. Listeners can look forward to songs that explore joy and sadness, love and lust and independence and attachment with heartbreaking emotion and range.