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Florence and the Machine, sometimes stylised Florence + the Machine or simply known as Florence, are a British indie rock/art rock band. It is the recording name of Florence Welch and a collaboration of other artists who provide backing music for her voice. Musically Florence and the Machine's sound is generally referred to as soul-inspired indie. Florence and The Machine's music has received praise across the British music media, especially from the BBC who played a large part in Florence and The Machine's rise to prominence by promoting her as part of BBC Introducing. This led to her playing a number of music festivals in 2008, including Glastonburymarker as well as Reading and Leeds and T in the Park. The band's debut album, Lungs was released on 6 July 2009, and was at the number 2 position for its first five weeks in the charts, behind Michael Jackson.

Spin Magazine gave Lungs four out of five possible stars and wrote, "You’ve gotta hand it to the girl: She always makes you feel something" SPIN.com

Florence Welch

Florence Leontine Mary Welch (born 28 August 1986 in London) is the daughter of Evelyn Welch, Professor of Renaissance Studies and Academic Dean for Arts at Queen Mary, University of London and author and formerly a Studio 54marker regular, and Nick Welch, who works in advertising. She is the granddaughter of Colin Welch, a satirist and former deputy editor of The Daily Telegraph and the niece of parodist Craig Brown.

When Welch was 13 years old her mother moved in with her next door neighbour and his three teenage children. According to Welch: "We get on brilliantly now, but it was a nightmare then. I just used to stay in my room and dance around.

Welch's fascination with terror and doom was intensified by the death of her grandparents within a few years of each other. At age 10 Welch witnessed her grandfather's deterioration, and her maternal grandmother, also an art historian, committed suicide when Welch was 14.

Welch says she is prone to "falling into severe holes” that leave her crying on the floor. Welch used ecstasy at age 16. Today Welch "tries" to stay away from drugs, but Welch has been diagnosed with dyslexia and dysmetria. She also suffers from Sleep Paralysis

Welch would like to have a career similar to P. J. Harvey and Bjork who are "constantly creating new exciting stuff".

Early music interests and career

At age 13 Welch found solace in the music of Hole, Nirvana, Green Day, Kate Bush, Annie Lennox, the Velvet Underground and Celine Dion.

As a teenager she was the frontwoman for "Toxic Cockroaches" and "Ashok". Feeling she was in "the wrong band" she got out of a contract with Ashok by resigning.

The Machine

According to Welch "The name Florence and the Machine started off as a private joke that got out of hand. I made music with my friend, who we called Isabella Machine to which I was Florence Robot. When I was about an hour away from my first gig, I still didn't have a name, so I thought "Okay, I'll be Florence Robot is a Machine," before realizing that name was so long it'd drive me mad". In 2006 Welch's performances in small London venues as "Florence Robot is a Machine" began to attract notice.

The Machine is Florence's backing band and consists of several musicians, which previously included Devonte Hynes of Lightspeed Champion and Test Icicles. The current line-up consists of Robert Ackroyd (guitar), Christopher Lloyd Hayden (drums), Isabella Summers ('Isabella Machine') (keyboards) and Tom Monger (harp).

Florence and the Machine are managed by Mairead Nash who is one half of the DJ outfit Queens of Noize. Nash decided to manage the group when at one of Nash's club nights an inebriated Welch dragged Nash into the toilets and sang an Etta James song to her.

Lungs (2009)

Florence and the Machine released their debut album Lungs on 6 July, 2009 in the United Kingdom. The album was officially launched with a set at the Rivoli Ballroommarker in Brockleymarker, South East London.The album has peaked at the number 2 position in the UK and the number 13 position in Europe. As of 6 August the album had sold over 100,000 copies in the UK and by 10 August it had been at the number 2 position for five straight weeks. Following its 25 July 2009 release for download in the United States the album debuted at the number 17 position on the Billboard "Heatseekers" chart. The album was released physically in the U.S. on 20 October by Island Records. It was rated on New Zealand morning talk show Breakfast as a three-and-a-half star album.

The album was produced by James Ford and Paul Epworth. Much of the material on the album was written as reaction to what turned out to be a temporary break-up with Welch's current boyfriend. Welch says "He prefers me not to talk about it. It's funny then singing about it."

The debut single was "Kiss with a Fist". The song was used in the soundtrack of the film Jennifer's Body. The follow-up single "Dog Days Are Over" was recorded with no instruments in a studio the "size of a loo". The next singles were "Rabbit Heart " and then "Drumming Song". Recently Florence and the Machine filmed a video for her cover of Candi Staton's "You Got The Love". In a recent interview with Dermot O'Leary, Welch said that hopefully "Cosmic Love" will be another single.

It has been stated on digital spy that Florence is keen to start work on a new album and has confirmed that she is recording in January. [735966]

Touring

Florence and the Machine burst onto the London scene playing a handful of gigs in and around London for the likes of The Lock Tavern, Blue Flowers and Filthy Few.

Florence and the Machine were part of the 2009 Shockwaves NME Awards tour. Welch said that she planned a "pretty theatrical" performance. Welch was planning to bring "as many weird clothes" as possible with the idea of deciding what to wear before going on stage.

The group played the Concerts for Teenage Cancer Trust charity event at the Royal Albert Hallmarker in March 2009.. Florence and The Machine supported Blur for their 26 June comeback performance at the MEN Arenamarker in Manchestermarker. They played at the Lovebox festival this July 18 and 19. In July 2009, the group was supporting Duran Duran.

The group performed at the 2009 Glastonbury Festivalmarker, Reading and Leeds festival, Electric Picnic in Co. Laois, Ireland (where she is in negotiation to move her December gig to a stadium size arena due to the massive popularity she has in the Irish capital) and the T in the Park festival.

Florence and The Machine began the UK leg of the Lungs Tour 2009 on the 17th September 2009, starting in Bristolmarker. On the 27 October the group played its first official New York City show and appeared on the television programmes Late Night With David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel Live. A new tour is scheduled to begin in December, extending to Australia and New Zealand in January 2010 for St Jerome's Laneway Festival.

Critical acclaim

In early 2008 Welch was interviewed by London events website Run-Riot.com, a piece that influenced future coverage , casting Welch as a charismatic artist with a taste for sonic and narrative drama. Mainstream praise soon followed. As well as the attention from the BBC they have received a large amount of support from NME magazine who included them in their annual NME Awards Tour for 2009. They supported White Lies, Friendly Fires and Glasvegas on the tour which included venues such as Academies and Universities. The Times described her as "the most peculiar and most highly acclaimed female singer of the moment" and "the latest in a line of great English pop eccentrics". She also appeared on the front cover of The Guide subsection to The Guardian. Florence collected the Critics' Choice Award at the Brit Awards in February 2009. This category focuses on new talent and is voted for by a panel of music industry experts. Florence and the Machine came third in the BBC's Sound of 2009.


In 2009 she covered Beyoncé's song "Halo" on the BBC1 Live Lounge; host Jo Whiley stated that it was one of the best covers they have ever had in the Live Lounge.

The BBC also used "You Got The Love" as the backing music to it's Jenson Button Formula One 2009 season review video montage.

Allmusic described "Lungs" as "one of the most musically mature and emotionally mesmerizing albums of 2009".


Awards



  • First in the 2009 BRITs Critics' Choice section.
  • Third in the BBCs Sound of 2009, a poll voted for by a select group of insiders from all sectors of the music industry.
  • Florence and The Machine's debut album Lungs was nominated for the 2009 Mercury Prize.


Discography

Studio albums



Singles





Other charted songs



EPs



Music videos



References

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/introducing/artists/florenceandthemachine/
  2. Michael Jackson, Black Eyed Peas Control U.K. Charts Billboard 3 August, 2009
  3. http://www.english.qmul.ac.uk/staff/welch.html
  4. [ Florence and the Machine interview: sound and vision The Telegraph 4 June, 2009]
  5. Florence and the Machine: Wild at Heart The Times 31 May, 2009
  6. Behind the success of Florence and the Machine 20 September, 2009
  7. A piece of my mind ... Sunday Herald 25 July, 2009
  8. "Dog Days Are Over" CD single
  9. INTERVIEW: Florence and the Machine Yorkshire Evening Post 6 August, 2009
  10. Michael Jackson Extends U.K. Album Chart Run, Tinchy Stryder Notches Second Top Single Billboard 10 August, 2009
  11. Billboard
  12. [1]
  13. TVNZ Breakfast 2009-08-18
  14. Florence + The Machine: the voice that bewitched pop AFP 17 November, 2009
  15. Fangoria 28 July, 2009
  16. Florence & The Machine win a Brit BBC 12 December, 2008
  17. http://www.myspace.com/filthyfewuk
  18. Concerts for Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall, March 24–29 The Telegraph 20 March, 2009
  19. Blur sign-up Klaxons and Florence and The Machine for Manchester NME 3 April, 2009
  20. Neil Young and Blur confirmed for Glastonbury NME 9 March, 2009
  21. Exclusive: The Saturdays join bill for T in the Park Glasgow Daily Record 9 March, 2009
  22. Live: Florence and the Machine Feed on the Spotlight at Bowery Ballroom Village Voice 28 October, 2009
  23. On Tonight: Hip Hop vs. Scream Awards Hartford Courant 27 October, 2009
  24. [2]
  25. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7766429.stm
  26. Allmusic Lungs Review
  27. http://www.bpi.co.uk/certifiedawards/search.aspx
  28. "Cosmic Love enters Irish singles chart at #3". chart-track.com. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  29. http://www.iamsoundrecords.com/release/363


External links



2009 Florence and the Machine The Brits Critics' Choice section
Florence and the Machine BBC Sound of 2009
Lungs Mercury Prize
Florence and the Machine Studio8's Female Voice of July 2009
"Rabbit Heart " Studio8 Song of July 2009
Florence and the Machine MTV EMA's Best UK and Ireland New Act
Florence and the Machine Q Awards Best Breakthrough Artist
"Drumming Song" Q Awards Best Video Trophy
Lungs Q Awards Best Album Award
2009 Florence and the Machine UK Festival Awards 2009 Best Breakthrough Act
Year
Album
Peak chart positions
Certifications
UK
IRL
NZmarker
AUS
US
BELmarker
NOR
NTD
2009
Lungs
2
2
36
16
179
14
36
37
  • UK: Platinum
Year
Song
Peak chart

positions
Album
UK

IRL

2008
"Kiss with a Fist"
51
Lungs
"Dog Days Are Over"
89
2009
"Rabbit Heart "
12
42
"Drumming Song"
54
"You've Got the Love"
16
30
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.
Year
Song
Peak chart

positions
Album
UK

IRL

2009
"Cosmic Love"
3
Lungs
Year
Video
Director
2008
"Kiss with a Fist"
Price James
"Dog Days Are Over"
Tom Beard
2009
"Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)"
Tom & Tabitha
"Drumming Song"
Dawn Shadforth
"You've Got the Love"
Tom & Tabitha

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