For rising U.K. band [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Florence + the Machine[/lastfm], it appears that the “Dog Days” truly are “Over.” Not only did charismatic vocalist Florence Welch and her group recently receive a high-profile Grammy nomination as Best New Artist, but Florence + the Machine is also now set to perform an exclusive Live on Letterman concert webcast on December 16 direct from New York City’s famed Ed Sullivan Theater. You can watch this event on CBS.com starting at 8pm Eastern (5pm Pacific).
[pullquote quote="I didn't set out to be wacky. I just want it to be emotive." credit="Florence Welch"] Though the group only has one album under its belt–the universally acclaimed Lungs, released in early 2009, which features the song “Dog Days Are Over” among other energetic and mesmerizing singles–Florence + the Machine has nonetheless risen from a popular London club act to a full-blown international sensation.
During the past two years, vocalist and songwriter [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Florence Welch[/lastfm] has played major festivals such as Glastonbury and Leeds, topped the U.K. charts, won the 2009 Critics Choice Award at the Brits, appeared on the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards telecast, and, as of this month, landed the aforementioned high-profile Grammy nomination. Not bad for a young woman who’s still in her early 20s.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what caused all this acclaim for dear Florence. Her soaring vocals? The driving, dreamy, fully energized melodies that permeate the songs on Lungs? Welch’s music pulls references from such heavy-hitters as [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]PJ Harvey[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Kate Bush[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Stevie Nicks[/lastfm], and even [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Nick Cave[/lastfm], yet when you listen to songs like “Dog Days” and “Heavy in Your Arms,” you don’t hear others–you only hear Welch’s singular voice, which starts from the stage and stretches into the stratosphere and, in today’s world, stands out like no other.
As the London Times has written, she’s “endearing, exhausting,” and “heroically free from self-consciousness,” so it’s “no wonder the public is transfixed.”
“Cosmic Love” video
The band name [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Florence + the Machine[/lastfm] arises from Welch’s earlier collaboration with her friend Isabella Summers, a.k.a. Isabella Machine. The band is today a rotating crew of studio musicians (though Summers is a regular), and serves as a solid foundation for Welch’s soaring, at times ethereal, but always powerful vocals, which have helped songs like “Dog Days Are Over,” “Cosmic Love,” and “Heavy in Your Arms” captivate audiences around the globe.
“Dog Days Are Over” video
Welch first landed on the London music scene fresh out of art school, and in 2008 released two early singles from Lungs, “Kiss with a Fist” and “Dog Days Are Over.” Lungs was released by Island Records in 2009, and steadily grew in popularity, first in the U.K. and then across the ocean in the U.S. Her songs have also been slowly working their way into American pop culture, having been featured on soundtracks for TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, and in feature films such as Jennifer’s Body, and, perhaps most importantly of all, Eclipse, the third film in The Twilight Saga.
Keep updated on Florence + the Machine tour information
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See the full list of Grammy nominees for Best New Artist
“Heavy in Your Arms” video