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Mechanics Of The Heart
She’s a muse, a role model and a style icon all in one, but how much do we really know about indie’s favourite frontwoman? Florence Welch opens up to Hot Press about chilling with Karl Lagerfeld, wowing the crowds at the Grammys, and why the best day of her life is just around the corner.
Celina Murphy, 29 Nov 2011
‘Spectrum’ is the track the devastated Lungs-era Florence simply couldn’t have written, a love song without ifs or buts. Bearing the idyllic refrain of “Say my name and every colour illuminates/We are shining and we’ll never be afraid again!”, it’s probably the closest Welch will ever come to a ‘Your Song’ or an ‘At Last’.
“Because I’m so drawn to dark subject matter, I wanted to make a song that was kind of open-hearted, with a hopeful message. I was a bit nervous. I was like, ‘Wow, this is really earnest and heartfelt. I’m not hiding. Where’s the dark metaphor to hide behind? AAAGH!’ but I’m really happy that we went with it. My total dream is for it to come on in a gay club and just to be dancing on the bar, surrounded by flaming shots! When that day happens, it’ll be the best day of my life.”
On the opposite side of the sunny scale is ‘Breaking Down’. Unlike ‘Spectrum’, this one passes without a modicum of optimism.
“It’s funny because we were going through a real Bowie phase,” she recalls. “We’d been listening to a lot of new Arcade Fire stuff and Bowie and that mix of the sweet with the incredibly depressing. I wanted to take those familiar feelings of depression and kind of turn them on their head and make it into a song that was quite sweet in nature, almost so you could accept them, in a way. But yes, they’re two different sides of the musical spectrum!”
Ceremonials – which has entered the UK and Irish album charts at number one – was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios.
“I wanted it to be special,” Welch says, “because we were making a conscious effort to do it in one place, with one producer. I wanted the band to feel like they were coming into a special place to play, and for the boys, that was a really big deal. I mean, it was a big deal for me, but for like a guy guitarist it’s the ideal.”
The producer in question is Lungs collaborator and ‘Rolling In The Deep’ man Paul Epworth, who worked on all 13 tracks on Ceremonials.