There’s a point just past the halfway mark on “Shake It Out,” the rousing first single from Florence + the Machine's second studio release, when the swelling guitars, organs, and strings, staccato percussion, and Florence Welch's air-raid siren of a voice lock up in a herculean battle over which one is going to launch itself into the stratosphere first. It’s a contest that plays out at least once on each of Ceremonials' immaculately produced 12 tracks. Such carefully calculated moments of rhapsody would dissolve into redundant treacle in less capable hands, but Welch does emotional bombast better than any of her contemporaries, and when she wails into the black abyss above, the listener can’t help but return the call. Bigger and bolder than 2009’s excellent Lungs, Ceremonials rolls in like fog over the Thames, doling out a heavy-handed mix of Brit-pop-infused neo-soul anthems and lush, movie trailer-ready ballads that fuse the bluesy, electro-despair of Adele with the ornate, gothic melodrama of Kate Bush and Floodland-era Sisters of Mercy.
Florence Khoriaty, known as Florence K, is a Canadian pop singer and songwriter from Quebec, who performs material in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. She is most noted for garnering a Juno Award nomination for Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2014. The daughter of musicians Hany Khoriaty and Natalie Choquette, she started in the music business playing piano and performing duets with her mother.
Florence + The Machine joined Clara at BBC Maida Vale for a Live Lounge Special. They performed six tracks including their latest single ‘Queen Of Peace’ and an amazingly uplifting cover of Skrillex & Justin Bieber's 'Where Are U Now'.
Tchaikovsky’s virtuoso string sextet ‘Souvenir de Florence’ is one of the most popular works in the string chamber music repertoire. It has been recorded here with Arensky’s Quartet Op 35 which was dedicated to the memory of Tchaikovsky.