Everyone has something that changes their life in some way, whether it be a book, a poem or an album. For myself, this change came from the music of Florence & The Machine, to whom I have been a dedicated fan since her first single fell on my ears in mid 2009. Fast forward six years and even my decision to try and make it as a music journalist came; in part, thanks to Florence. So background info section over, you can imagine my excitement of hearing new material FOUR WHOLE YEARS after her second album.
Premiered by Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1 on Thursday, ‘What Kind Of Man’ came literally crashing into the world (the video for the single sees Welch in a car crash scene). Beginning as a steady vocal, at first I was overcome with terror that Florence’s great return to the world of music was going to be lacklustre.
Oh Hallelujah for guitars!!!! Just when you think Florence has covered all bases possible, she goes and slaps you in the face with heavy riotous guitars changing the dynamic totally on it’s head. ‘WHAT KIND OF MAN LOVES LIKE THIS’ Welch powers through with nuances of ‘Gimme Shelter’ by The Rolling Stones and some heavy Aretha Franklin/James Brown vibes.
‘What Kind Of Man’ feels like a progressional retrospective on her previous single ‘Kiss With A Fist’ which is the only other track she’s ever been so guitar heavy with. On the initial listen I will be brutally honest and admit that I thought it was a little scatty, but this is one of those tracks to take your time deconstructing seperately bit by bit on each listen. It will be more than worth your time, I personally promise.
Having seen Florence live 9 times, I can already tell that ‘What Kind Of Man’ is going to raise the bar to a whole new level in terms of performance. It’s no surprise that NME have heavily tipped Florence for a headline slot at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, ‘What Kind Of Man’ would provide an atmosphere as electric as the guitars that kick in after the first verse and take no prisoners.
I understand that Florence is one of those artists that apparently divides opinion, but mull over this track, drink it in and if you already love her, prepare to see that love skyrocket and for those unsure, prepare to feel the same. Trying to describe a track this good is kind of difficult even if you’re good with words. It has more or less knocked the vocabulary out of me.
Watch the video for ‘What Kind Of Man’ here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgeKHTcufLY
Florence & The Machine’s third album ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ is set for release on June 1st 2015 and is eleven tracks long, including ‘Ship To Wreck’, ‘Caught’ and ‘Mother’. Welch has described the record as ‘trying to learn how live, and how to love in the world rather than trying to escape from it’.