Florence and the Machine rule world venues this year. Today, June 20, Rolling Stones Magazine announced that the popular band would be headlining at the Voodoo Music and Arts Festival this October 31. Additionally, Florence and the Machine will replace the Foo Fighters at the Glastonbury Festival in the U.K. The contemporary pop vocal group, headed by Florence Mary Leontine Welch, has been touring renowned festivals in the UK and stateside. At Coachella this year, it has been reported that she broke her foot as she jumped into the crowd. The band will return to Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee for a second performance after their success in 2014.
Welch’s voice is a combination of voices that have been successful. Her voice sounds a little Celtic, Irish and English alluding to a mix of Adele and Jewel with a hint of the late Amy Winehouse. Originally from London, Florence and The Machine began their career in 2007 and released their first album in 2008. In 2010, the band performed at the MTV Awards and later that year made an appearance on Saturday Night Live. That same year, they opened the show for U2 , gaining fans all over America and the UK.
They reached the pinnacle of musical artistry this June with their third album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful when it reached number one on the Billboard chart. The song How Big sold 128,000 times and was streamed 4.9 million times. The song that has crossed into most pop stations that any passerby may recognize but not yet associate with Florence and the Machine is Dog Days Are Over, featured in the movie Eat, Love, Pray starring Julia Roberts. Another song where Welch was heard but maybe not identified was the 2012 Calvin Harris’ Sweet Nothing, popular primarily among discotheques and clubs.
Welch joins a short list of red-headed juggernauts in the world of music in every category including; Tori Amos, Reba MacIntyre, and Kate Nash. The 28-year-old rock and roll star is confident, and sources say she has an amazing stage presence. She sets the tone for the group and demands big musical arrangements as well as big costumes, yet she can also give an acoustic performance that is spine-tingling. Due to her personality and the way in which she carries herself, Welch is quickly becoming an inspiration for designers as she attends more awards and events worldwide. Although it may seem disingenuous, she is self-described as an extrovert and as an introvert. She is someone who can take a leap, yet can at times prefer the quiet and privacy of an introverted individual.
The songs that she writes are like most authors’; somewhat based on reality, on anecdotes and experiences that require courage and vulnerability when placed on paper and when sung on stage. Songs she has written include stories of previous love encounters and failures. Part of the delight for the audience is the gothic, folk and mystery that Welch includes in her lyrics, shows and videos. A confluence of deep vulnerabilities, fantasies, and dangers are palpable in her voice which makes her audience delirious.
Some people were born to do what they do; Welch has been writing as well as singing since high school, and years of relentlessly seeking to create, invent and perform have yielded the success that she deserves. Florence and the Machine rule world venues through November, and will hopefully continue to delight audiences with surprises and many more amazing records to come.
Opinion by Olivia Uribe-Mutal
Edited by Chanel van der Woodsen
Rolling Stones: Ozzy Osbourne, Florence and the Machine to Headline Voodoo Fest 2015
The New York Times: Florence Welch Slows Down the Machine for the Band’s Next Album
MTV: Florence + The Machine
Image Courtesy of Guus Krol’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License