Florence and the Machine has given listeners a foretaste of their newest album with “What Kind of Man”, the first single released from the full-length album. How Big How Blue How Beautiful is the first release since Ceremonials in 2011, and can be expected in early June of this year. Florence Welch’s voice leads the powerful and emotionally driven single, with an artistic music video to match.
After writing and recording Ceremonials right after her first album, Lungs, Florence deliberately decided to take a full year off to reflect on her success and explore her growth as an artist. In a recent interview on BBC Radio 1, she spoke of her spiral into a nervous breakdown, and how she felt unstable and “not quite right”. For fans of Florence, she fortunately connected with producer Markus Dravs and began writing her third album.
While her first two albums have themes of water, death, and transcendence, How Big How Blue How Beautiful is less morbid and more euphoric, while retaining the dark soulfulness unique to the band.
In her own words,
“The new album became about trying to learn how to live, and how to love in the world rather than trying to escape from it. Which is frightening because I’m not hiding behind anything but it felt like something I had to do.”
Florence and the Machine released a trailer for their newest album, which hints at the themes intertwined into the sixteen tracks chronicled on the deluxe edition LP. The video frames Florence in an ethereal garden amphitheater with another woman who is faceless, but identical to Florence in all other attributes. Trumpets resonate over their synchronized movements, insinuating a deep, spiritual reflection of self and the celestial beauty of embracing life and love. Personally, being a fan of Florence and the Machine since their first album, an album announcement of this type is immensely satisfying. The trailer is sensual, alluring, and artistically intriguing. Very few artists successfully portray the emotional foundation behind an album, especially in visual media. Florence, however, has managed to do just that, with striking candor. The trailer is raw, yet tasteful, giving viewers a mysterious insight into Florence and the Machine’s new perspective and forthcoming exhibition in the realm of life and love.
This album release may be heralding yet another world tour, perhaps beginning winter 2015. Florence is truly an outstanding live performer. I had the opportunity to see her on the Ceremonials tour during the summer of 2012. Dressed in flowing, soft, angelic fabrics, Florence floated around the stage, sonorously performing and enchanting the audience. Not surprisingly, Florence’s true singing voice is indistinguishable from her recorded sound. Accompanied by soft lighting, the show enhanced the emotional vigor inherent in each and every note.
Highly-anticipated How Big How Blue How Beautiful is expected to be incredibly popular and is forecasted to top the alternative music charts. If you are not already familiar with Florence and the Machine, now is a spectacular time to start listening to the band before their newest release.
For more on Florence and the Machine, check out BBC Music for tracks, clips, and interviews, or their official website.