It’s been a long time since I’ve written, and I thought I’d share some random, late night thoughts about a band.
Someone told me that if I was a Lord of the Rings fan, I’d like Florence and the Machine. That seemed like an odd statement, so I put it to the test (I love LotR), and voila, I’m now a fan of the band. They’re touring America this month to support their new album “Ceremonials,” and Florence and the Machine tickets are currently available. As with many breakout bands, appearance in various media launched their success, making it yet another good case study for the “screen to mp3” success story. Let’s walk through it.
Florence and the Machine’s unique sound is the key to their success. Florence Welch’s haunting voice overlaid on ethereal backing tracks creates a cloud of mystery around the listener. The complex harmonies combine with enough thump in the bass to remind the listener that this is a rock band. The band’s sound has been categorized at various times as English art rock or even soul. Perhaps the best description is pagan rock. The melodies and soaring vocals are reminiscent of New Age music from the 1980s.
The group appeals to a segment of rock fans who in earlier days might have listened to more pop-based bands. Although this segment is small, the band is fortunate to have been noticed by the mainstream media. Early in their career they were featured on the program “BBC Introducing.” Since then, their songs have been picked up for play on numerous television programs and movies, including “Wild Child,” “Eat Pray Love,” “Saving Grace” and many others. The recent “Snow White” gig was the latest in the string of soundtrack appearances which have given the group widespread exposure.
Since “Ceremonials’” debut, the band has also released two singles, “Breath of Life” and a remixed version of “Spectrum (Say My Name).” “Breath” was featured as the theme for “Snow White & the Huntsman.” “Ceremonials” reached the top spot on the UK charts in its first week. It peaked in sixth place in the U.S. The band also received two Brit Award nominations for the record.
When the tour concludes, the band will begin work on their third album. it could be a minute or two before the group is back on tour, so now is the time to scoop up those Florence and the Machine tickets.