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Florence + the Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

Confident indie from much-loved chanteuse

Fact title Fact data
Release date
2 June 2015
Label
Island

Background

London-born Florence Welch is the instantly recognisable face of Florence + the Machine. As a visionary singer-songwriter she is justly compared to a whole host of legendary frontwomen, including Kate Bush, Siouxsie Sioux and Shirley Manson.

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is Welch’s third studio album as Florence + the Machine, following previous big hitters, Lungs (2009) and Ceremonials (2011). Here she is very much true to her reputation for epic scale. The songs unfold as high musical drama, built upon layers of characteristically tight instrumentation and Welch’s immense, soulful voice. The lyrics are rich in emotional turmoil and resolution. At their best the songs here achieve an anthemic quality without sacrificing any artistic integrity. They are stirring, energetic indie-pop ballads that are poignant yet refreshingly listenable.

Previously shortlisted?

Yes, in 2009 (Lungs).

What the critics say

"How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is a cathartic, devastatingly honest personal diary set to music." - The Line of Best Fit

"Whatever the lyrical content, musically every move feels like an affirming one. You’re never more than a short skip from something gigantic." - DIY Magazine

For fans of

Adele, Lana Del Rey, La Roux

Clips

Jo Whiley on Florence + the Machine: "incredibly personal, incredibly honest"

Jo Whiley discusses Florence + the Machine's Mercury Prize 2015 shortlisted album.