It's been nearly four years since "Ceremonials," Florence + the Machine's last album of regal, big-voiced pop. Now the project led by singer Florence Welch finally has finished a follow-up.
Her new LP, "How Big How Blue How Beautiful," is due out June 2 on Republic Records. The LP was produced by Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Bjork) and features a notable roster of collaborators, including Goldfrapp's Will Gregory and Adele's producer (and Welch's previous collaborator) Paul Epworth.
The album's first single, "What Kind of Man," is out now on iTunes and hints at a variety of directions for her. It starts as a somber, atmospheric synthscape but quickly cuts through with rock guitars and Stax-style brass arrangements. (The song also has an arresting but NSFW video depicting a couple in the throes of domestic intensity.)
In a statement, Welch said that the album's themes of redemption and facing reality came as "a crash landing...'Ceremonials' was so fixated on death and water, and the idea of escape or transcendence through death, but the new album became about trying to learn how live, and how to love in the world rather than trying to escape from it."
Florence + the Machine has a top slot (just under headliner Drake) at this year's Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Expect her to play plenty of new material, as it's been a long time coming.
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