Florence Welch reveals ‘chaotic’ year and ‘nervous breakdown’ behind new album

Florence + The Machine's third album 'How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful' is set for release in June

Florence And The Machine‘s Florence Welch appeared on BBC Radio 1 this evening (February 16) to discuss her new album, ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’.

‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ is the third album from Florence + The Machine and follows 2009 debut ‘Lungs’ and its follow up ‘Ceremonials’, which arrived two years later. Produced by Markus Dravs (Björk, Arcade Fire, Coldplay), the new album also includes contributions from Paul Epworth, Kid Harpoon and John Hill and will be released on June 1.

Speaking to Zane Lowe about the record, Welch discussed the ‘chaotic’ year behind the new album. Talking about how her first two albums were made without a break, she said that the year off she took before making the new album made her have something of a ‘nervous breakdown’.


“‘Cermonials’ and ‘Lungs’ all blurred together, we didn’t take any time off,” she explained. “It was a decision to have a year off.” She said during that year she had “a bit of a nervous breakdown… It was a bit of a crash landing in a sense… In the year off, I was still going out and going to events but something wasn’t quite right, I was spiralling a bit. I wasn’t making myself happy. I wasn’t stable.” She also discussed her “on and off relationship with drinking” which added to the “up and down… chaotic” vibe of the year.

She commented: “It was a really vulnerable time for me when we first started making the record and because of that it’s the most personal record I’ve ever made.”

Welch also spoke about working with Dravs. She said: “When I went to meet Markus, we were talking about this idea of space and this idea of something earthier. ‘Ceremonials’ was this glacial wall of sound.” For the new album she said they wanted to “refine what we’ve done and pare it down”. Welch also revealed that Dravs gave her rules when in the studio. “You’re not allowed to write any more songs about water!” he said. “But I did get one in there – ‘Ship To Wreck’ is about water, but it’s not so explicit!” she commented, adding that he helped to find a “different gear” when it came to her songwriting.

Scroll down to hear new song ‘What Kind Of Man’ now.

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’

Florence + The Machine will play BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Norwich this May, and are also due to play a number of European festivals this summer including Way Out West in Sweden, Super Bock Super Rock in Portugal, Benicàssim in Spain, Oya in Norway, Flow Festival in Finland, Rock Werchter in Belgium and Hurricane and South Side festivals in Germany.

They are also rumoured to be performing at Glastonbury and are favourites to headline alongside Foo Fighters and AC/DC. Bookmakers Paddy Power have cut their odds on Foo Fighters playing Worthy Farm to 5/4 following comments made by Dave Grohl and festival organiser Emily Eavis in 2014.

Meanwhile, AC/DC have odds of 6/1 and Florence + the Machine are tipped to headline the festival for the first time with odds of 8/1.