After Florence + the Machine skullfucked 2012 with an emotionally charged SNL performance and their critically acclaimed second album Ceremonials, the group has finally returned with information about their forthcoming release.
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is produced by Markus Dravs (Björk, Arcade Fire, Coldplay), with contributions from a bunch of people I’ve never heard of before. It will be released on June 1.
“Markus has done a few Arcade Fire albums, and he’s done Björk’s ‘Homogenic’, which is a huge record for me,” said Florence Welch, the ginja ninja herself, in an interview with NME. “I felt he had that balance of organic and electronic capabilities, managing those two worlds. And, you know, he’s good with big sounds. And l like big sounds. And he’s good with trumpets, and I knew I wanted a brass section on this record.”
“I guess although I’ve always dealt in fantasy and metaphor when I came to writing, that meant the songs this time were dealing much more in reality,” she said in a statement. “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. Which is frightening because I’m not hiding behind anything, but it felt like something I had to do.”
The How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful tracklisting is as follows:
‘Ship To Wreck’
‘What Kind Of Man’
‘How Big How Blue How Beautiful’
‘Queen Of Peace’
‘Various Storms & Saints’
‘Long & Lost’
Listen to the album’s first single, “What Kind of Man” below. It’s just as Flo wanted it: big sounds and tons of brass. Plus, it’s exceptionally progressive for the band’s sound. Check it: