Thursday, March 3, 2011

Florence and the Machine

SPIN The Best of 2010 Cover
"A year ago, it was hard to imagine where the strum of a harp, tribal drums and syncopated hand claps might fit into a music world dominated by the likes of Lady Gaga and her auto-tuned voice. But that was before we learned about ethereal Florence + the Machine."  [Lorraine Ali, L.A. Times Magazine]          

Florence is Florence Mary Leotine Welch [August 28, 1986] a former "south London art-schooler who made provocative statements with artificial flowers and baked a cake with the words, “It’s going to get worse” iced on the top before eating it as part of a performance."  [Elly Smith, Lab Magazine]

Photography by Chad Pitman/V Magazine

Welch, a self-proclaimed "choir girl gone horribly wrong," grew up in London with her ad exec dad and art professor mom, who was a regular at Studio 54 in the '80s. " [Ellen Carpenter, Spin Magazine ]  She has been compared to Kate Bush and Aretha Franklin, who gives Gaga a run for her money with her treasure-trove wardrobe." [Elly Smith Lab Magazine]

As for The Machine, it’s a flexible beast. It can go right down to Florence and a drum kit or a piano, but right now it’s a seven-piece band including long-term collaborators Rob Ackroyd (guitar), Chris Hayden (drums), Isabella Summers (keyboards) and Tom Monger (harp). “I’ve worked with most of them for a long time and they know my style, know the way I write, they know what I want.” [ Florence and the Machine Official Website ]

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 24: Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine performs onstage at Levi's and The Fader's "One Day Only" at Liberty Hall at Ace Hotel on October 24, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images

Live, Florence and The Machine become an entirely different beast. No two performances are ever alike, and clad in clothes often culled from local second-hand shops that day, Florence goes at it like a woman possessed. “It’s just this sense of total freedom,” she says. “It sounds so cheesy, but I want to touch people. Not in a weird way. I just want to help them feel what I’m feeling.” [ Florence and the Machine Official Website

The nearly six-foot fiery redhead captivated the U.K. in 2009 with her debut album, Lungs,
winning the critics' choice award at the Brits, then crept into America’s consciousness via soundtracks including Twilight: Eclipse, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and that ubiquitous Eat Pray Love trailer. 

 Heavy in Your Arms Twilight Saga: Eclipse

 Dog Days are Over: Eat Pray Love




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