Florence + The Machine


Florence Welch is nothing if not eclectic: observe the confrontational power-pop of “Kiss With a Fist”—the first UK single from her debut album, Lungs—then listen to her awe-inspiring, soul-indie cover of Beyoncé’s “Halo” (at mypace.com/florenceandthemachine). Welch’s band Florence + The Machine includes a cosmopolitan array of instrumentalists silhouetting her cherubic vocals: from choral arrangement to bumping dance-floor beats and handclaps on “Dog Days Are Over,” to the drudging moans of “Girl With One Eye (Bayou Percussion Version).” Lyrical topics range from bouts of heavy drinking (‘Hurricane Drunk,” “Falling”) to domestic quarrels: (from “Kiss With A Fist”) “Well love sticks sweat drips/ Break the lock if it don’t fit/ A kick in the teeth is good for some/ A kiss with a fist is better than none.” Welch’s voice—while scarcely derivative—is highly invocative of Fiona Apple or Feist, but with the stylistic diversity of no less than Cher or Madonna. While Lungs has already topped the charts in the UK, it is only available via online retailers (iTunes, Play.com). The deluxe edition includes the standard album plus a second disc with alternate versions and additional tracks, including down-tempo standouts “Bird Song” and “Ghosts.”