FLORENCE and the MACHINE – ” Dance Fever “

Posted: July 3, 2022 in MUSIC

The music of Florence The Machine is consistently singular. The band, led by Florence Welch, have been performing bewitching baroque pop since the late aughts. While their music has become higher in fidelity as their star has risen, they’ve never abandoned their sweeping gothic ambitions. Though they have their occasional moments of stirring quiet, they’re a group best suited to huge, uproarious songs. Welch is a charismatic performer, often possessed by the power of her own music, and is prone to leaping and bounding around the stage, sometimes running through a theatre’s aisles. While writing the songs that would, years later, become “Dance Fever“, the band’s fifth album, Welch read about choreomania, the Middle Ages concept of being so lost in euphoria that one dances themself to death—an idea that would naturally fascinate someone so morbidly devoted to performance. These songs would have to reflect this compulsion in their sound and structure, building them to feel at home onstage.

After enlisting pop hitmaker Jack Antonoff, the pandemic began just a week into recording sessions, forcing Welch back to both London and square one. While unable to meet in person, she worked remotely with Antonoff and Glass Animals’ Dave Bayley. The resulting songs are some of the most captivating Florence The Machine have made in years, and exist as a hellish rebuke against stillness.

Dance Fever” is imbued with Florence + The Machine’s signature magic on multiple levels. On one, the album seamlessly slots into the group’s canon while still feeling fresh; on another, balancing the distinctive sound of pop’s favourite producer Jack Antonoff (evidenced on the Bleachers-esque “Free”) with the band’s signature baroque style. Of course, much of the power is derived from Florence Welch’s incredible vocals and the haunting, timeless lyrics, like the wallop that is: “You say rock and roll is dead, but is that just because it hasn’t been resurrected in your image?”

It’s not that this album is more personal than ever–previous albums have dealt with themes of mental illness and addiction–but those ideas feel closer to the surface than ever, easier to access but still raw on a tender tune like “Morning Elvis.” It’s an album that makes you want to dance, cry, and howl, to wield a sword or cast a spell, to lose yourself in a timeless fairytale woven by music’s most adept sorceress. 

This is the band’s fifth studio album is released on 13th May and is available across a number of formats, including deluxe CD (with five unnamed bonus tracks) and 2LP vinyl. 

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