Street Sounds: Third time’s the charm

Florence and the Machine beat the third album jinx with How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

English art rockers Florence and the Machine beat the third album jinx with How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.

The songs combine soul power propulsion and more than a hint of Gothic drama.  Singer Florence Welch takes some of the Byronic edge of her previous work and hits it with choral effects and gutsy British soul.

Welch’s midrange pitched voice has the power to blow some doors off but it’s her expressive delivery that moves people.  The band and producers Markus Dravs (Mumford and Sons, Coldplay) hook up to bear down on a set of songs that allow Welch to claim the space between operatic grandeur and moody rock ambiance.

Delilah takes off on an Annie Lennox-inspired soul drama that’s a high point of performance on an album of driven music. Although she often sounds like she’s singing from a rocky crag over a wind-whipped moor and cultivates an Arthurian appearance, Welch sings from a deep place that’s easily recognized. Ship To Wreck is a confessional blast of an anthem that sounds sincere – not an easy feat. There’s a soulful urgency that suggests the acceptance of singing personal songs. St Jude goes one further, sounding like something between a hymn and a prayer – an atmospheric contemplation.

The groove that’s a presence throughout How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful goes full force on Mother.  Welch’s performance here starts restrained and keeps building, bringing in the choral textures that are layered through the recording.

They (Florence and the Machine) hone in on a wave length that brought the strongest elements of their earlier work down to this collection of songs – atmosphere, beat and vocals that burn.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Kamloops RCMP detachment is asking for the public’s help in finding Kayne Pasco, a Vernon man wanted on several B.C. charges. (Contributed)
Wanted Vernon man believed to be in Kamloops: RCMP

Kayne Pasco, 27, is wanted in the province for several offences

Vernon Morning Star columnist Sam McNair gives an inside look to One Yoga in Vernon. (Sam McNair - Contributed)
Small Business Spotlight: One Yoga Vernon

It’s 2021 and everyone is looking forward to a new year full… Continue reading

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon’s Heritage Square long-term care home has now claimed eight lives as of Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID-19 claims another life at Vernon’s Heritage Square

Eight residents of the assisted living facility have died due to the virus to date

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

(Pixabay photo)
Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines of the week

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Big White Village on Dec. 16. (Big White photo)
11 more COVID-19 cases linked to Big White cluster

Interior Health provided an update on the cluster on Friday

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital surgical unit

Despite 6 South being a surgical unit, RIH said surgeries are continuing at the hospital

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘It’s incredibly upsetting’: Kelowna health care worker demands WestJet ticket refund

Kelowna woman has been waiting almost a year for a refund on her Kelowna to Edmonton flight

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Most Read