The following is an excerpt of something I may or may not submit to Rookie. In the comments, it would be SO helpful if you could tell me what I’m doing wrong so I can try to edit it for submissions.
I’m not going to lie: Florence Welch is my queen. There is actually no other way to describe how I feel about her. She isn’t just “my favorite singer,” “my best friend who doesn’t know I exist”; she’s Florence Welch and because of this, I worship her and adore her to death. Marina can have her diamonds and Gaga can have her monsters, but Florence will always have me because family may come and go, friends may come and go, but as long as I’m alive, she’ll be here to stay. She doesn’t emulate your cool big sister or your best friend; she’s that weird aunt who listens to great music or that girl in the back of your physics class who writes poetry. I have no shame in my love for her.
Florence’s first album with her band, Florence and the Machine (don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten them), is called Lungs. The first time I listened to it, it was like hearing a new language. Her songs were mystical but not so much so that they were distant; I couldn’t relate to all of it because I was too young, but it didn’t matter. I’d listen to it every day of the summer and I remember dancing around to it in my room. I’d get up early just because I was excited to listen to it and I’d finish off every day hearing the sound of her voice. Ever new album I heard from every other artist that summer seemed inadequate and every song I heard on the radio was even worse. It still is that way, to an extent.
One of the first things that’s so great about Florence is her hair: it’s fiery red, and always had been. While other singers constantly change their color, she keeps it the same, which I find refreshing. Maybe I’m biased because I just love red hair, but I couldn’t see her with any other color, solely because she has such a great stage presence.
And that’s another thing: when you see images of Florence singing, she isn’t just standing there, mouth open, eyes dead—her eyes are closed, her arms are out, and she looks as though she’s in a trance. Her eyes are intense and she moves around in almost an unreal way. Her hands make intricate patterns in the air and it’s almost like she’s a witch casting spells, except that they’re in the form of song lyrics. Every time I see videos of performances of her, she’s always the one who catches my attention. Her voice isn’t airy and drafty like other people’s voices when they make pop music; it’s big and intense, and every time I hear it, it’s like I’m in the middle of an intoxicating rain storm with gospel songs.
Florence also has great style. She always talks about how much she loves Stevie Nicks and wants to dress like her. I don’t know about you, but anyone who wants to be like Stevie Nicks earns 10 cool points. She also performed in one of Chanel’s shows, as picked by Karl Lagerfeld. Her clothes are always long and flowing and as I mentioned before, with her hands making these weird shapes and her eyes closed and her hair this fiery red, she looks like a creature from another world, sort of like one of those girls Anne of Green Gables made up.
Florence’s next album (after Lungs) was Ceremonials, released in 2011. It’s probably one of the most surreal and intense things you’ll ever listen to . It’s very different from Lungs and it took some getting used to, but I could still hear Florence’s voice and I started listening to it as obsessively as her first album. It has so many tracks on it, but here’s one of my favorites:
I don’t know, guys. There’s something about her that’s just amazing–when I first knew she even existed, not that she was a singer, but that someone with these ideas and thoughts even EXISTED, I freaked out. It’s like she’s a little off, she’s here but she can transport herself into another world and it’s so beautiful to me that she’s willing to share that with all of us and not keep it to herself.
She talks often about how she was a child, sort of scared of fantastical things, like ghosts and vampires in this interview, which is one of my favorites of her (even though it’s really old):