In the Post #77: Florence and the Machine – What the Water Gave Me

By on Friday, 26th August 2011 at 12:00 pm

Florence Welch, the centre of Florence and the Machine, has been in hiding for some time; all that was known was that she had gone into writing/recording-hiding with Paul Epworth (the same producer that she worked with for her popular debut ‘Lungs’) and little else. This week she debuted a taster to her forthcoming sophomore album in the form of the track ‘What the Water Gave Me’.

Less is definitely more in this first glimpse into her still untitled second LP. Interspersed with ‘aesthetic’ shots of Florence with her ginger hair, dressed in a flowy robe, are moments in time with Florence and Paul holed up in the studio, which says to me that she wants this new effort to be perceived more in the real world than ‘Lungs’ was. What I mean is, if you got the chance to see Florence and the Machine on tour with the last album or even if your only knowledge of Welch is the strange visual that is the ‘Dog Days are Over’ video (the song now heard round the world thanks to a Julia Roberts film, god), you know that the ‘old’ Florence was a colourful yet purposely mysterious character.

Coming out in the light literally in this video, maybe she’s decided to reign in the more flighty parts of her musical personality. I, for one, am all for this approach. But lyrically, ‘What the Water Gave Me’ is just not ringing my bells. It’s interesting she’s using backing (possibly gospel) singers, because it lends the song an almost hymnal effect and I can see this working very well in a cathedral. Hmmm. This sounds familiar. Laura Marling’s ‘Sophia’, anyone? While I’m sure this is entirely coincidental, it’s going to be an interesting autumn, without a doubt. Florence vs. Marina vs. Laura. Who will come out on top?



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