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Here’s a band that has gained some popularity recently but I just can’t stop listening to them and they have a new album on the way.

“Florence and the Machine” which they stylize as (Florence + the Machine) are an indie rock band, consisting of lead singer Florence Welch, Isabella “Machine” Summers, and a collaboration of other artists.  The band’s music received much praise across the msuic media, especially from the BBC, before they gained mainstream success.  The BBC would regularly promote the band on their segment for upcoming musicians “BBC Introducing.”

The bands name is attributed to Florence Welch’s teenage collaboration with Isabella “Machine” Summers.  Welch and Summers performed together for a time under the name “Florence Robot/Isa Machine.”  Later, this was shortened to “Florence and the Machine” because they felt that the previous name was very cumbersome.  In addition to Summers who played keyboards and backing vocals, the current band members include Robert Ackroyd (guitar, backing vocals), Chris Hayden (drums, backing vocals), Mark Saunders (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Tom Monger (harp).  In the past, Welch has praised the Machine for understanding her creative process, claiming, “I’ve worked with most of them for a long time and they know my style, know the way I write, they know what I want.”

According to Welch, “The name Florence and the Machine started off as a private joke that got out of hand.  I made music with my friend, who we called Isabella Machine, to which I was Florence Robot.  When I was about an hour away from my first gig, I still didn’t have a name, so I thought, ‘okay, I’ll be Florence Robot/Isa Machine,’ before realizing that name was so long it’d driven me mad.”

In 2007, Welch recorded with a band named “Ashok” who released an album titled “Plans on the Filthy Lucre/About Records Label.”  This album included the earliest version of her latest hit “Kiss with a Fist” which at that point was titled “Happy Slap.”  She signed a contract for “Ashok” with a manager, but feeling that she was “in the wrong band,” she resigned which canceled the contract.  The band is currently managed by Mairead Nash (one half of the DJ duo Queens of Noize), who decided to manage the singer when an inebriated Welch followed Nash into the toilets at a club and sang Etta James’ 1962 song “Something’ Got a Hold on Me.”

The band released their first album, “Lungs,” on July 6, 2009, and held the number-two position for its first five weeks on the UK Albums Chart.  On January 17, 2010, the album reached the top position, after being on the chart for 28 consecutive weeks.  As of October 2010, the album had been in the top 40 in the United Kingdom for 65 consecutive weeks, making it one of the best-selling albums of 2009 and 2010.  The bands second album, “Ceremonials,” was released in October 2011 and it entered the charts at number 1 in the UK and at number 6 in the US.

The band’s sound has been described as a combination of various genres, including rock and soul.  Welch has been compared to other famous female singers such as Kate Bush, Siouxsie Sioux, PJ Harvey and Bjork.  During an interview Welch cited Grace Slick as her influence and “hero.”  The band’s style has been described as “dark, robust and romantic.”  “Their music is a mix of “classic soul and midnight-on-the-moors English art rock.”  Welch stated that her lyrics related to Renaissance artists: “We’re dealing with all of the same things they did-love and death, time and pain, heaven and hell.”  From 2008, Welch had a relationship with Stuart Hammond, a literary editor, their temporary split provided inspiration for much of the “Lungs” album.  In 2011, the couple announced that they had broken up by mutual decision because of conflicting career demands; the break-up provided more material for the band’s second album “Ceremonials.”

Florence and the Machine won the Critic’s Choice Award at the 2009 BRIT Awards after coming in third in the BBC’s Sound of 2009 poll.  The band won the MasterCard British Album award for “Lungs” at the 2010 BRIT Awards, having also been nominated for British Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act.  On February 19, 2010, the band won Best International Band at the 2010 Meteor Awards.  The group lead the nominations for the 2010 MOJO Awards, with four nods.  They received a nomination for Best New Artist at the 53 Grammy Awards.  In April 2011, the band was ranked 50 in the 2011 Time 100 poll, which annually lists the 100 most influential people in the world.  American recording artist Beyonce Knowles cited Florence and the Machine as an influence in her 2011 album “4.”

The band has been highly successful all around the world and for good reason.  With their dark, atmospheric sound and Welch’s belting vocals and emotional lyrics, the band just sounds amazing to listen to and has single after single on each of their albums.  If you haven’t heard a song by this band yet check them out below and see why they are loved throughout the world.

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