So I’ve told you my Top 5 songs by two of my favourite musical acts, Michael Jackson and The Corrs. Today is the turn of my Top 5 songs by Florence + the Machine, my other favourite band. I’ve got all of Florence’s albums and I love her beautiful, haunting sound filled with religious overtones. The five songs I have chosen are in no particular order, as it was simply too hard for me to rank them, but I’ve got a whole lot of love for them.
5. Dog Days Are Over
Dog Days Are Over is one of Florence’s earliest releases, from her debut album Lungs, and still one of her best. The strings of the harp heard throughout the song are gorgeous, giving it a slightly angelic sound. However, it is Florence’s vocals that make me love this song so much, particularly as she sings the outro, harmonising with herself.
4. Drumming Song
This is a song that has a more pumping, slightly upbeat sound when compared to Florence’s other songs. The change in tempo gives the song strength and character, setting off the strong, dragged vocals. I’m also a fan of the lyrics in Drumming Song, referencing the religious clash of the sweetness of heaven and the scorching heat of hell.
3. Shake It Out
Shake It Out was the first official single released from Florence’s second album, Ceremonials, which is my favourite album by the band. This was also the first single I heard from that album and I fell in love with it straight away. Shake It Out is a beautiful, powerful, emotion-filled song, with a strong instrumental presence to set off the strong vocals, which do justice to the great lyrics.
2. Leave My Body
When I heard Leave My Body for the first time on Ceremonials, I loved it straight away. Leave My Body is haunting, but in the most stunning way, with the perfect use of echoes. The song begins quite softly, with the clang of the tambourine heard throughout, and it continues to build and build. The backing vocals in this song are amazing, but the lead vocal by Florence is something special and makes this song complete — her voice is airy, eerie and beautiful, shaking in the best possible way.
1. How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is a song from Florence’s album of the same name and it truly is one of her most beautiful songs. As always, I love Florence’s airy vocals and I enjoy listening to the strong lyrics, but it is the backing music in this song that stand out more than anything else. The tune is bright, uplifting and joyful, brought to life by the amazing instruments, which are so on point. I think that the musicality of this song is the best that Florence has ever produced, especially the instrumental ending, which is a stunning piece of work.
These are my Top 5, but I cannot end without giving a special mention to Seven Devils, which is one of the most gorgeous and powerful songs by Florence, and definitely has the most haunting sound. What are your favourite Florence + the Machine songs?