What can I say about the debut album from Florence + The Machine, Lungs. Brilliant. Dazzling. Refreshing. Exceptional. Unparalleled. Is that enough lazy writing, not even bothering to make sentences around adjectives? Lets use one more – original – and its not often you can actually use that word and mean it.
Maybe its a bit repetitive to be writing articles containing something along the lines of ‘I was in love at the first listen’ all the time, but in this case there was never a truer word said. My favourite track on the album is the first one, Dog Days Are Over – which was recorded with no instruments apparently. Other absolute favourites would have to be Drumming Song and Howl (listen to it on the band’s myspace page). Then you’ve got the released singles that are also fantastic – Kiss With A Fist, Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) and Cosmic Love. Every track is suberb.
Ok I think I’m done with the one word descriptions.
The genius behind the band is Florence Welch, with The Machine making up a collaboration of backing artists. Having seen her perform and read some of her interviews, I think shes a little cuckoo – but in a good way. Its that little bit of crazy that has produced such a brilliant record, so it has to be good. In her own words:
“I want my music to sound like throwing yourself out of a tree, or off a tall building, or as if you’re being sucked down into the ocean and you can’t breathe. It’s something overwhelming and all-encompassing that fills you up, and you’re either going to explode with it, or you’re just going to disappear.”
And if you don’t find that a little strange, try this quote.
“I feel things quite intensely, which is why the music has to be so intense. I’m either really sad or really happy, I’m tired or completely manic. That’s when I’m at my most creative, but it’s also dangerous for me. I feel I could write some good songs, or break some hearts. Or tables. Or glasses.”
The band’s own website describes their music as feral – as good an adjective as any! I think I’m a little in love to be honest.
I recently wrote a post about Friendly Fires, but in truth it took me three weeks because I was listening to Lungs so much. Like twice a day, everyday. That’s how good this album is – I struggled to write about a really great band because this album came along. FF are truly brilliant, but Florence is phenomenal. A real breath of fresh air. I don’t think I’m over-reacting when I say this is the album of the year. Yes, its better than Manners. Better than Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. Better than Two Suns, and better than Veckatimest. Yes, its even better than It’s Blitz. Bold statements I know, but I’m gonna stand by them because Lungs = Album of the Year.
The deluxe version of the album (with a whopping 8 bonus tracks) is currently number one in the iTunes Ireland chart – get it, listen to it, love it. Lungs is also nominated for a Mercury Music Prize – Friendly Fires is another nominee, and as brilliant as it is, Lungs is getting my vote.