Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lungs by Florence + the Machine

My friend Brendan brought me this album the other day, stuck it in my computer and said, "Here, I think you'll like this." He could not have been more wrong. I love it, to the point of obsession and playing it for everyone I know, and some people I don't know.

Florence has apparently been a big hit on the indie music scene in Britain for a little while now, but with the release of their actual debut album, Florence + the Machine have begun to draw massive amounts of attention, and word of mouth is hurting them none. Having watched some of their live performances, it's interesting to see Florence rocking out to some of the songs that I hadn't thought would encourage that sort of behavior, but that seems to be her modus operandi. In any event, here's a bit of a breakdown.

The album is stylistically diverse, with some songs coming across as very Brit-punk ("Kiss with a Fist", which is also on the Jennifer's Body soundtrack), some creepy and jazzy ("Girl with One Eye"), and some that I can't really categorize, but can say I've listened to over and over again, ("Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)", "Howl", and "Drumming Song" being my favorites on the album). She tackles several angles, with rhythms, melodies, and harmonies combining in very fascinating ways.

It's hard to listen to "Howl" and not lose yourself in the music, were it not for the equally entrancing lyrics "Screaming in the dark, I howl when we're apart/Drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart//My fingers claw your skin, try to tear my way in/You are the moon that breaks the night for which I have to howl". In this case, the song was inspired by the werewolves of gothic horror, but is also about the intensity of young love. It's a fascinating take...

Drumming Song, on the other hand, focuses on that moment we've all experienced, when there is someone that stops us in our tracks and we can barely breathe, let alone speak. "There's a drumming noise inside my head, that starts when you're around/I'd swear that you could hear it, it makes such an almighty sound/There's a drumming noise inside my head, that throws me to the ground/I'd swear that you should hear it, it makes such an almighty sound//Louder than sirens/Louder than bells/Sweeter than heaven/And hotter than hell" above a drumming rhythm that moves even me (Mr. I-Won't-Dance-Unless-I'm-Drunk-Enough-Not-to-Know) to want to dance.

Lungs is available on iTunes--13 songs for $9.99. It's worth it, trust me.