Florence and the Machine’s new feminist sensibility

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FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE, a British indie band, marked the release of their new album on June 29th with a live televised performance from Central Park in New York. Backed by a six-piece band that included a harpist, Florence Welch sang a selection of singles from “High as Hope” before security guards hoisted her above the crowd for the encore of “Shake It Out”, a hit from 2011. As fans grabbed at Ms Welch’s billowing robe in the humid morning air, the scene looked more like a Renaissance painting than a promotional event.

Over the past decade, Ms Welch has made her name both as a hitmaker and as a kind of strong-willed sprite. Her belting alto, floor-length floral gowns, flowing red tresses and rhapsodic tambourine stand out in an industry which often places a premium on bare skin and over-sexualised lyrics. Now, in the era of #MeToo, Florence and the Machine go beyond wisp and whimsy.

Ms Welch writes about love in the 21st century with the same frankness as her musical peers, but she relies upon lyrical introspection and…Continue reading

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