Florence + the Machine's Dance Fever: What You Need To Know
Almost four years on from their fourth full-length effort High as Hope, Florence and the Machine return this week with their fifth studio album Dance Fever, an album Florence Welch says has been influenced by “70s Iggy Pop” and American singer-songwriters such as Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams, while its title is inspired by her fascination with a phenomenon known as ‘choreomania’.
With Dance Fever freshly on the shelves in our stores this Friday (May 13), here’s everything you need to know about their brand new LP…
A little background…
Work on the band’s fifth album was scheduled to begin early in 2020 in New York, however the pandemic soon saw those plans scrapped and recording was later relocated closer to home in London.
Word of imminent new music arrived, prosaically enough, in the post – more specifically, in the form of a card sent to the band’s fan club featuring the title of an upcoming single, ‘King’, with Florence in medieval style dress.
The album’s title was announced in March via Florence’s Instagram, with some of the album’s cited inspiration including pre-Raphaelite art, the visceral folk horror of The Wicker Man, and the gothic fiction of Carmen Maria Machado.
Who’s producing it?
Along with Florence herself there are also production credits for Dave Bayley, Kid Harpoon and Jack Antonoff.
Any special guests?
Nope, no guest performers on this one.
What does it sound like?
The cited Emmylou influence is almost immediately apparent in the melodies that swoop over the insistent rhythmic throb of opener ‘King’, gradually building to string-fuelled crescendo which has barely washed away before you’re hit with the pulsing electro of ‘Free’.
From there on in though Dance Fever is a slightly more mellow affair than its title might suggest, its most anthemic moments coming with the driving rhythms of tracks like ‘Cassandra’ and ‘Dream Girl Evil’, both of which conjure shades of both country music and Dreams-era Fleetwood Mac, but are given a dark twist with Florence’s vivid lyrical imagery. It’s only really on the euphoric ‘My Love’ that Dance Fever really heaves in the direction of full-on dance music.
Elsewhere there’s the moody, lilting groove of ‘Daffodil’, another of the album’s highlights, and the dreamy laments of songs like ‘Prayer Factory’ and ‘Back in Town’, which balance nicely with the album’s more upbeat moments.
Does it deliver?
Dance Fever really feels like a record for this exact moment, full of the cautious optimism of spring but not quite yet into the hedonism of summer, its often dreamlike vibe shaped by Florence’s lyrical fascinations with mythology and gothic imagery, making Dance Fever an apt title for an album which often feels some kind of medieval fever dream. There are some genuinely gorgeous moments on offer here and this might well of the band’s most evocative records yet.
Dance Fever is available in hmv stores now – you can also find it here in our online store.