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I’ve never been a fan of Florence + The Machine, if anything an occasional listener. The songs I went back to most often always had one thing in common for me. They reminded me of the momentum taken by a human as he flees the impending threat and the moment you can get to a safe place and can breathe, even as emotions continue to buzz inside. With many songs from “Dance Fever” I have exactly the same. This is the first Florence Welch album that I listen carefully, cover to cover, and I already know that a similar process awaits me with previous albums. Especially to see how Welch has developed an extraordinary self-awareness that breaks into every song of Dance Fever.
Watch the video POPKultura, ep. 115
Florence Welch as Cassandra
Such a high level of self-awareness brings with it a lot of anguish, which is mainly hidden in the constant need to control ourselves, about everything that is wrong with us, what is not working for us, what we do wrong or what looks ugly in the eyes of others. In “Dance Fever” Florence Welch fights with himself for precisely such control. He wants to live her way, but his fear, frustration and anger that Florence needs to let go are overshadowed by her. And she dances.
The lion’s share of the pot was made in the lockdown. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Welch recalls that she found the early stage of the pandemic in New York, where she was working with Jack Antonoff, who co-produced Dance Fever. The first few sessions were great until the artist’s mother called about her and asked her to come home for a while. She was prepared for up to a month off. The prolonged need to stay still did not allow her to go back to creating for a long time.
“Coreomania” sounds like it came out of the middle of a block, but it was created long before it started. Florence was then fascinated by the Renaissance phenomenon of the same name, also known as the “dance epidemic” or “Danza di San Vito”. Groups of people gathered in one place to dance until they literally lost their strength. “And I go crazy in the middle of the street with full conviction, like someone who has never had something really bad happen (…) I don’t know how it happened, how to stop it / Suddenly I dance to an imaginary music (…) I shoot dance and dance to death ”- Florence sings in“ Coreomania ”, at first it recalls the sound of one of her greatest hits,“ Dog Days Are Over ”.
– Yes it is that songsthat sound the most “pandemic”, I wrote much earlier. A lot happens to me – said Florence in an interview with the Independent. This is what “Cassandra” tells, where Welch plays the mythical cursed priestess who always predicted the future truthfully, but nobody wanted to hear her. In the case of Florence it is exactly the opposite: crowds of people want to hear what it has to convey, but in order for this message to see the light of day, the artist must create it with the thought that no one will listen to it.
– I enter into a conversation with myself, and then I realize that everyone will hear this conversation. But I never stopped myself from releasing the song because I was afraid I said too much, Welch tells Zane Lowe’s Apple Music show.
Since she entered the path of sobriety, she began to put all her strength into dance
During “Dance Fever” Florence shared with the audience other dilemmas on femininity and related social roles (“King”), on spirituality and interpersonal relationships (“Girls Against God”, “Heaven is Here”). She’s back memories until it seemed to her that staying true to rock ‘n’ roll roots was drinking too much. “Morning Elvis” that closes the album is a postcard from nearly a decade ago, from the day she, on a trip to New Orleans, insisted on staying at the party until morning – she jerked back. to dresscompletely battered.
“What was it for me that I wrote my death warrant so vehemently?” I cared so little to myself … – Welch recalls. “It didn’t matter what I did the night before or what chaos it caused the week before, because I knew that once I got on stage something would save me and absolve me. And this song is about that feeling, but it’s also a tribute to all the artists who turned pain into beautiful things before our eyes.
Ever since Florence entered the path of sobriety, she began to put all her strength into dance. The artist claims that the most important message of her new album is contained in two lines of the song “Free”: “I hear the music, I feel the rhythm / And by the time I dance, I am free”. The most obvious of all the songs on “Dance Fever” invites you to dance to the single “My Love”, which in the context of the whole record has an amazing sound. Of the sublime orchestration flowing through the album, only punches and a strong drum (and Florence’s inherent choral singing) remain – plus, it’s a 180 degree turn with a disco sparkle, which the song was given by Dave Bayley of Glass Animals.
“My Love” was initially a sad poem written in the kitchen. Bayley put in a charge of energy in the form of synthesizers and a dance rhythm, which Florence complemented with rhythmic breaths and voices reminiscent of the times of the album “Ceremonials”. On the track, this yearning desire is preceded by the song “Daffodil”, which for Florence at one point was “the most Florence and machine thing you have ever created”. The piece was written last springwhen Welch na View nature has flourished again, it has let itself be felt the hope that perhaps the world would not end after all. This hope is marked by great anxiety and at the same time saved from complete destruction.
I remember what emotions Bo Burnham’s “Inside” project caused last year, which was created in a deep lockdown and perfectly reproduced the sine wave many of us had walked on during the previous year. “Dance Fever” Florence + The Machine is the perfect complement to this process, which is ongoing and will last a long time (or maybe it will never end?). This album confirmed me in a not very revealing but essential belief: uncontrolled outbursts of emotions are needed as well as careful reflection on what causes them: the ground for not getting caught in oneself. And dance if you have to.