Once in a great while you hear a new artist—and instantly you know they’re going to be a success. Sometimes you can’t put a finger on why; maybe they have a great voice, unparalleled songwriting or maybe a sound totally unique to the era. I’ve seen many up-and-coming bands never quite reach the top, but that certainly isn’t the case for today’s featured artist as I’m not sure you’ll find a better vocalist out there.
Florence and the Machine began in London in 2007. The name is a combination of lead singer Florence Welch and her friend/keyboardist, Isabella Summers. The two made music under Florence Robot and Isa Machine, but that name was deemed too long, so the band name was born. Ms. Welch had a hard time finding a manager to help get her and the Machine on a label. The story goes; she was a bit tipsy one night in a club, so she followed a fairly well known manager into the bathroom and sang an Etta James song while the fella was locked in the bathroom stall. She did such a good job; he decided to help her out.
The band only has two studio albums out in their brief careers. Today we’re focusing on the debut album Lungs which game out in July of 2009. There was a buzz about the album the second people heard it. There was something so different than what you’d expect from basically a great lead singer with a backing band. It combines raw emotion with obviously great vocals, but it’s more than that, it’s a soul album with great beats, it’s a pop album that’s dark and mystic, it’s got vulnerable song writing, but you want to sing along anyway – it’s transcendent in so many ways.
Quickly everyone knew the band was on to something, as the nearly 70,000 copies sold in the first week was the 2nd best-selling album in that time. In January of 2010, the album spent 28 consecutive weeks in the top forty, and to date, has sold over 3 million copies worldwide. On top of the sales, critical acclaim was furious. Even the “negative” reviews all still had something positive to say about the record, which is a rare feat in an internet world. This just seemed to be one of those albums that had a little something for anyone who picked it up.
From a personal standpoint, I liked this so much when I first heard it, not only did I buy it, but I went to a concert of theirs in Milwaukee. I can vouch for her voice not being touched up by the studio whatsoever. How amazing she sounds on the album is how amazing she sounds in real life. It was a thing of beauty to watch. This certainly isn’t the type of music that I would normally put on through my day, but their sound has “it.” It sucks you in and gets the toes tapping.
No question worth $5 bucks, and if you’ve never heard of them, it’s time to give Flo a proper listen. She never lets you down.