Florence + The Machine‘s fourth record has been eagerly awaited since the release of Florence Welch and her band’s acclaimed third album ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ in 2015. There’s been a new record every two or three years – ‘Lungs’ was released in 2009, followed by ‘Ceremonials’ in 2011 – and now we’re set to be treated to a follow-up in 2018.
Here’s everything we know so far.
When will Florence + The Machine’s new album be released, and what’s it called?
It had long been expected that Florence would release a new record in 2018, with various people claiming that the album could be released at the end of this month. It looks like they were right all along.
At the beginning of May, Florence unveiled the main details when it comes to her next record. Titled ‘High As Hope’, and featuring renaissance-style cover art, her fourth full-length is due out on June 29.
— florence welch (@florencemachine) May 3, 2018
Have we heard any tracks?
Yep! Florence + The Machine made her musical return on April 12 with lead single ‘Sky Full of Song’, which appears on the ten-track album.
The epic ‘Hunger’, which came with a majestic video to match at the beginning of May, will also appear on the record.
“This song is about the ways we look for love in things that are perhaps not love, and how attempts to feel less alone can sometimes isolate us more,” Florence said of the song. “I guess I made myself more vulnerable in this song to encourage connection, because perhaps a lot more of us feel this way than we are able to admit. Sometimes when you can’t say it, you can sing it.”
‘High As Hope’ also features a song titled ‘South London Forever’, along with an opening track called ‘June’. Apt given the record’s release date.
The ‘High As Hope’ tracklist is below. Pre-order the album here.
3. South London Forever
4. Big God
5. Sky Full of Song
8. 100 Years
9. The End of Love
10. No Choir
Who are the key collaborators?
Florence has been working on the record with Brett Shaw, who produced 2015’s ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’. The full track-listing for the record also reveals that Emile Haynie (Lana Del Rey, Sampha, Father John Misty) acted as executive producer on ‘High As Hope’. Florence is credited as a co-producer, and also worked with Jamie xx, Kamasi Washington, Sampha, Tobias Jesso Jr and Kelsey Lu on the release
As discovered by Spanish music blog Binaural, the official website of London’s Miloco Studios claims that Shaw spent a large part of 2017 working on the record.
“Brett has spent 2017 recording the upcoming Florence And The Machine Album at 123 studios and out in L.A.”, the official biography for Shaw states.
Binaural has also shared a birthday note from Florence to Shaw which is dated as January 2017 – suggesting that this new record has been in development for well over a year.
Will there be a tour?
Last year, Welch teased her return by announcing festival appearances for 2018. As well as Orange Warsaw Festival, she will take her band to Germany’s Melt! Festival in July.
She will also play Bilbao’s BBK Festival between 12-14 July.
What has been said about the new album?
Speaking to The Telegraph about her upcoming fourth album last year, Welch said that she’d be exploring the “black hole” she fell into with alcohol and upheaval after splitting with boyfriend James Nesbitt in 2014.
“I’m happier now, I’m content, but I’m never going to be fixed, ever,” she said. “I don’t think that’s how it works. A lot of things almost worked for me: partying almost worked, being famous and successful almost worked, the relationship almost worked… but it won’t sustain you. These are transient things. It’s working out how to be OK regardless.”
“It’s interesting because I think I never knew how to come down after a tour before, so I would just go on a massive bender”, she admitted. “And I wasn’t doing that, so I just went straight back in the studio”.
What has happened since the last record?
After the release of ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ in 2015, Florence + The Machine stepped in to headline Glastonbury in place of Foo Fighters. Welch had previously broken her foot while performing at Coachella that year.
Since then, Florence has announced her debut book release. Useless Magic will also give fans an insight into Florence’s creative process by featuring some of the subjects and areas which have inspired her writing. It’s out on July 5.
Last year, she worked with Banks and Steelz (aka RZA and Interpol’s Paul Banks) on their collaborative album. Speaking to NME, the pair said that Florence “killed it”.
Welch has also clashed with Tories, saying that the Conservatives did not have permission to use her cover of Candi Staton‘s ‘You’ve Got The Love’ at the Conservative Party conference in October 2017.
How has Greta Gerwig influenced Florence?
Florence has said that she got in touch with Lady Bird filmmaker Gerwig while working on her new album and the pair have since collaborated on a photo shoot.
“That songs can be triumphant and exciting but at the same time you just don’t have it figured out, that things can be joyful and you can be strong but there is an underlying sense that all the time you are questioning—I thought Greta would get it,” Florence told W magazine.
“I’ve never had anyone describe my music in the most perfect way. Greta said, ‘I like it because it’s like the deepest, darkest well of pain, and then you just throw a big party in there and invite everybody.'”