Florence’s Lungsby Yusuf Laher / 10.11.2009
Florence Welch is the kind of girl you wouldn’t take home to meet the folks (in case she stabbed them). Following hot on the witch heels of a string of hype-building 2008 singles and a tasty pre-album EP, Lungs is a striking debut album. From violin and cello, to Hammond Organ and harp, it’s a dense forest, a vast, velveteen backdrop for Florence’s overpoweringly, seductive and eerie Tim Burton hymns to sway back and forth over.
There’s the bluesy swing of “I’m Not Calling You A Liar,” the gentle, Yeah Yeah Yeahs eruption of “Dog Days Are Over,” the offbeat, indie pop of “Kiss With A Fist,” the eerie swoon of “Girl With One Eye,” the brainwashing cascade of “Drumming Song” and the bloodlust of my favourite, “Howl:”
“If you could only see the beast you’ve made of me
I held it in but now it seems you’ve set it running free
Screaming in the dark, I howl when we’re apart
Drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart”
With influences like Björk, Karen O and Natasha Kahn (aka Bat For Lashes), Florence Welch sounds hauntingly original. She’s a siren, the kind of voice it seems impossible to resist: she could be calling you to your grave (and she often is), and you’d go willingly.
Surprisingly, Lungs never sounds weighed down under the weight of its words. The lyrics are dark and poetic, soaked in a Sylvia Plath, art school drop out sense of funk, but the music keeps it light, catchy and disarmingly friendly. From medieval and earthly, to cosmically futuristic (like a demented Enya) and art house indie, Lungs is a compelling, alluring and accomplished sounding debut.