16 Jun 2015

How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence and The Machine

From The Sampler, 7:30 pm on 16 June 2015

Melody Thomas navigates a new set from Florence and The Machine.

Florrence The Machine How Big How Blue How BeautifulElvis said, “The image is one thing and the human being is another. It's very hard to live up to an image.”  It’s a sentiment echoed by so many artists who have found themselves living in the shadow of a character they themselves created. And the Florence of Florence and The Machine casts a long shadow.  

On 2009’s Lungs, she was turned to gold by King Midas and made impermeable my fame. On 2012’s Ceremonials she burned a kingdom to the ground and cut out her own heart. But here, we catch a glimpse of Florence at her most human - ever noble and proud, but made weak at the hand of love.

She is still a queen, a summoner of saints and a presence to be reckoned with. And sonically Welch is not quite ready to let fall the wall of sound that has served her for so long, though there are moments when she does: accompanied by just a guitar and strings on Various Storms and Saints, a mournful organ, muted horns and a thudding heartbeat for St Jude.

Florence and The Machine’s third album shows Florence part way through a descent to earth, floating in a sky that is Big, Blue and Beautiful - but perhaps not yet sure if they way forward is up or down.

Songs Featured: Ship To Wreck, What Kind Of Man, Third Eye, Various Storms and Saints, Delilah, Queen Of Peace, How Big How Blue How Beautiful

Listen to more from The Sampler

 

Get the new RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes

Subscribe to The Sampler

Podcast (MP3) Oggcast (Vorbis)