Florence Welch ‘almost wrote a concept album about the LA witchcraft scene’

Producer Markus Drav eventually helped create a more personal record, singer tells NME

Florence And The Machine singer Florence Welch has discussed the early inspiration behind her new album.

Florence Welch’s third album ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ was released this week. It follows 2009 debut ‘Lungs’ and 2011 follow-up ‘Ceremonials’. Produced by Markus Dravs (Björk, Arcade Fire, Coldplay), the album also includes contributions from Paul Epworth, Kid Harpoon and John Hill.

READ INTERVIEW IN FULL: Florence + The Machine On Turmoil, Hollywood Witchcraft And New Album ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’

Speaking to NME in this week’s issue, available digitally and on newsstands now, Welch described how she immersed herself with her surroundings when starting to record with Dravs in Los Angeles.

“When I first went to work with Markus [Dravs, producer], I did have some songs that were like… slightly more [2011 album] ‘Ceremonials’-esque,” she said. “We got really into obsessing about the LA witchcraft scene, and I was imagining this concept album about a witch trial in Hollywood, and someone falls in love. It was kind of tied up with things in my own life, but it was an escapism.”

Despite these initial plans, Welch stated that Dravs helped her craft the more simpler, straight-forward songs. “He encouraged me to be a bit more open, I guess,” Welch added. “But that’s frightening.” Instead of ‘Hollywood witchcraft’, the resulting album was eventually a more personal affair. Welch details the themes as: “Relationships not working out, trying to figure out how and why your relationship with yourself isn’t working out. That stuff humbles you and it’s human, things that everyone goes through… being OK with being sad and with being super-happy and joyful. You’re writing from a place that feels, like, really real to you.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Welch says that “it would be wonderful to headline Glastonbury” but is nonetheless happy with her slot behind the Foo Fighters this year.

READ: NME album review of ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’

The ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ tracklisting is as follows:

‘Ship To Wreck’
‘What Kind Of Man’
‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’
‘Queen Of Peace’
‘Various Storms & Saints’
‘Long & Lost’
‘Third Eye’
‘St Jude’