January 18, 2010

MUSIC: FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE

Florence and the Machine are led by one wacky lady, but boy can she sing

Florence Welch is often out of sorts. “I can’t remember anything,” she explains. “Where I’m going, where my shoes are, what I’m doing during the day. The only thing I can remember is songs.” Well, at least the rising English pop star’s got her priorities straight. The fiery vocals and dreamy production on her debut album, Lungs, have indeed put a spell on us. But ever since we clicked over to her MySpace page via Lily Allen’s and found a cli of her singing “Girl With One Eye,” a grisly tune about romantic revenge, we’ve known this redhead was a little nutty in all the right ways.

Take her wardrobe choices. Her look is like a messy little girl dressed up in mum’s clothes with a dark, gothy attitude governing. She loves vampy looks by Hannah Marshall, but she mixes up her designer pieces with strange and wonderful things that have found her over the years. She even has a few stage-ready times from the dress-up box she kept as a kid! Her current strangest treasure is a lime green cat suit she obtained last summer while on tour with MGMT. “Somebody gave it to Andrew [VanWyngarden],” she explains,”bit it was a girl’s so it was too small and it split all the way down to the navel. He was like, Oh you can have this.” Welch promptly ripped a green glittery curtain from her window, refashioned it as a cape, an wore the getup at England’s Reading Festival.

Meanwhile, she’s wailing out gorgeous songs about demons and domestic violence. The explosive single “Kiss With a Fist,” which we’ve recommended recently in these pages, has a lovesick protagonist punching, kicking and lighting things on fire. “It’s just about the passion two people can have between each other,” she explains. Speaking of, Welch also caused quite a stir back in the summer when she made out with Victoria Hesketh (a.k.a. Little Boots) at the NME Awards. Admitting intoxication, she denies any real physical attraction. “I just did it to show there’s no love lost between British female pop stars.” Point taken, then.

Cristina Black

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