Wednesday, 23 July 2008

florence and the machine : live !

Okay, so I first mentioned Florence and the Machine way back in January. If you haven´t yet experienced her incredible voice, then you are missing out. Incredible is the only way to describe her voice, which is a brimming with an intense power, unrivalled in terms of her indie singer-songwriter contemporaries.

It's fair to say she is aware of the power of her voice, mostly choosing to surround it with sparse arrangements of guitar, occasionally piano and a dash of percussion. This, in my eyes, is a move filled with self-confidence as her voice is powerful enough to almost stand entirely alone, and covering it too much would dampen the raw emotion. Her self-confidence is also evident in lots of vocal show-boating (see Beirut cover)...Florence would not lose in many voice-offs.

Lyrically, she makes references to her lungs in Don't Tell Me (there's a ghost in my lungs) and Lungs which is interesting. Mostly the songs are quite angry and dark but playfully spattered with moments of tenderness, I wonder whether this is perhaps the natural mode of expression for such a powerful voice, or maybe she is just angry and dark when she sings.

The production on her debut single, A Kiss With A Fist, doesn't really allow this power to shine, which is annoying but perhaps is the reason why her cover of Hospital Beds (originally by Cold War Kids) is included. It's moving, to say the least. Her cover of Postcards from Italy is better though. I'd kill for a cover of Hallelujah a la Jeff Buckley.

Apparently, she's just signed to Virgin. I hope she doesn't rush the album out like some of her female indie singer song-writer contemporaries...not mentioning names, coughKateNashcough. It would be a pity, as she has potential bursting out of her, lungs in particular.

buy single from IAMSound here

If, like me, you still haven't seen her live, download her set from London Calling in Amsterdam here and hope that someday you will.

1) Girl With One Eye
2) Hospital Beds
3) Lungs
4) Postcards From Italy
5) Bricks
6) Kiss With A Fist
7) Donkey Kosh

I'm still knackered from Melt! festival. It was amazing. Festival round-up this week I promise.