BEST OF 2022: Florence + The Machine on Dance Fever

27 December 2022, 19:00

Florence + The Machine - Dance Fever Track By Track

Florence Welch takes John Kennedy through her fifth studio album: "My perfectionism is so brutal, I was in agony when I finally put the album out," she claims.

Listen to the Dance Fever Track by Track podcast on Global Player

Listen to the Florence + The Machine Dance Fever Track By Track podcast here
Listen to the Florence + The Machine Dance Fever Track By Track podcast here. Picture: Radio X

Florence + The Machine released their fifth studio album, Dance Fever on 13th May 2022.

Originally intended to be recorded in New York as the follow up to 2018's High As Hope in the early months of 2020, the COVID pandemic saw Florence Welch return to her native London and collaborate with musician and producer Jack Antonoff and Glass Animals' Dave Bayley.

But the genesis of the album had started back in 2019. "It was one of those periods of time," says Florence, "kind of post-tour, where there's this weird lull of feeling like I should be relaxing, I should take a break."

Florence + The Machine - King

"Suddenly the hunger to write again becomes really kind of insatiable. But also you've run out of steam, so it's always a period where you think I'll never write anything again; 'I don't have anything to say'. Sometimes I get into that mindset and I have to challenge myself to write something."

Dance Fever is by turns dark and ecstatic as Welch anticipates the return of live music and social connections after lockdown, particularly on the glorious single My Love. In fact, the singer-songwriter very music sees the album as the soundtrack to an imaginary film, telling Radio X's John Kennedy:""I just enjoy talking about it as a whole, because I do think of it as a story. So even when you're trying to talk about tracks individually, it's hard to do that without the scope of the whole record."

Florence + The Machine - My Love

Ms Welch has sat down with the Most Trusted Man In Music - a tradition with every Florence + The Machine album - and gone through each song on Dance Fever; the inspirations, the lyrics and the recording.

Florence + The Machine 2022
Florence + The Machine 2022. Picture: Autumn DeWilde/Press

Florence says: "What I like about songs is that they can hold so many ideas and concepts, because there are so many layers to it.

"There's the original spark or the thought that sets off the song, then the song takes over, and you're channelling the song. Then there's the music, and then it's what people's interpretations of it are. I feel like a song can hold so much that flat statement can't."

Florence + The Machine - Free

And is Florence happy with the finished result?

She claims: "Every time I put a body of work out, I hope that will be the one that I'll just feel like I have no issues with that. I can release it into the world and feel satisfied and confident. In album release week, when I finally put it out, I was in agony!

"My perfectionism is so brutal. I've kind of gotten over it now, I think it's a kind of an instant reaction. As I was picking the album apart and being terminally unsatisfied, I thought, I'm doing the thing I said I would do! I'm doing it again..!"