Florence + the Machine, “What Kind Of Man” from How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015)

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Florence + the Machine have followed an introductory video of sweeping expectancy with a more detailed song, more detailed video and more detailed sense finally of what’s ahead.

There is, at least at first, a sense of puzzled wonderment about “What Kind of Man,” and it’s firmly pointed inward — as if she is unsure why her own faithfulness exists. But as the song, a second taste of a forthcoming album confirmed now to be called How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, Florence + the Machine enter more turbulent sounds, and more turbulent revelations.

The attached clip (directed as with the initial title track video by Vincent Haycock, with violently electrifying choreography from Ryan Heffington) matches and then amplifies the sounds coaxed out of Florence + the machine by producer/co-writer Markus Dravs — who is able to once again achieve a tricky balance between electronics and flesh-and-blood musical moments, as with his earlier work alongside Bjork. Brass instruments, as spiky as they are surprising, once again play a defining role.

Two songs in, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (due June 1, 2015 via Republic) appears to be a more grounded effort — dealing with topics of the heart, and of finding your way, rather than the darker escapism of Florence + the Machine’s most recent studio effort, 2011’s Ceremonials.

Kip Harpoon, who earlier co-wrote “Shake It Out” with Florence Welch, collaborated on this new cut. Paul Epworth (also a Ceremonials alum), John Hill and Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory (who arranged the horns) worked on How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, as well. Florence + the Machine promise a huge tour into 2015, with stops at a string of festivals — including Bonnaroo.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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