The Playlist – My Love Affair with Florence + The Machine

I’ve loved Florence + the Machine since I was a troubled teen, desperately searching for my self identity. I found them early one morning back when MTV still played music videos. I was always a weird kid and seeing this red-headed waif dancing in a tribal outfit with such ease stopped me in my tracks. I was obsessed. It was nothing like the angsty teen anthems that took over my life up until that point.

From there I went on a frantic search for everything she had ever sung (which was hard on the limited budget of a teen with no job and parents of no substantial means). I longed to be the enchanting lead singer who seemed so comfortable in her own skin. Despite the romantic shortcomings, she persevered. I wished to do the same in my own life. FATM came to me when I was at my lowest, and I will always love the dramatic and vivid imagery that spoke to my lost soul.That is the power of FATM music. The haunting and ethereal wails lull you into a tranquil state of pain and acceptance. It’s as if singing to her demons allows you to let go of your own. She’s not afraid to put it all on the table: the heart-wrenching sound of raw emotion.

I always come back to FATM when I am down on my luck. Looking for a relief from the pain of fresh wounds. If you ever need music to keep you calm and help you fight, anything FATM is highly recommended.

Though I love nearly everything they’ve produced, I thought I’d share a few of my all-time favorites:

Lungs
Lungs made me feel like I could breathe again. This is the perfect album to let out all the heartbreak feels. Every song on this album makes you want to beat your fists on the ground and scream. Nothing is more cathartic than a night spent drunkenly belting out the lyrics to “Kiss with a Fist” and “I’m Not Calling You a Liar”.

The very fictional scenario in “Bird Song” reminds me of the very real feeling of
desperately trying to conceal the truth.

No Light, No Light
I’ve never been a religious person, but this song is what I imagine a “come to Jesus”
moment feels like. Florence lays all of her spiritual indiscretions on the track. Her failure to find salvation eerily calls to all lost souls. You can hear the gospel influence in the
swelling bravado of the choir and they verbiage – “you want a revelation, some kind of resolution.”

In this piece, she surrenders all pretensions of having any control in whether her love stays. This beautifully reckless song catches me every time.

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
I was thoroughly surprised to hear the evolution of FATM’s sound with their new album.
It seems like they traded in the sweet lilts of harps for faster beats and electric guitar riffs. “What Kind of Man” is a refreshingly non-pop-yet-upbeat anthem for a woman who’s sick of a man’s carelessness and cruelty. 
“Various Storms & Saints” is a beautiful ballad about the magic of finding yourself after being lost in someone else. Every time Florence belts “who made us this way,” I melt.

The larger-than-life instrumentals and the boom of Florence’s voice turns harrowing lyrics into somewhat uplifting pieces. If you’ve ever had an artist capture your heart and soul, you’ll understand the love I have for the dedication and passion FATM puts into every song.

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