Why, how and when you should listen to Florence and The Machine’s new album…
Arguably (because you can pretty much at least attempt to argue anything) How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is Florence Welch’s best album yet. An epic memoir of sorts filled with soaring highs to low, barely there ballads so delicate you’re almost afraid to turn the volume on your ipod too high lest you ruin the effect. Yeah, it’s good- but we aren’t musical experts, so here is our real question: how should you listen to it? We have a go with some of our favourites from the album.
SHIP TO WRECK
Remember those team building days you had to do at school, or worse, at work? You know that one exercise where the company organising it somehow thinks building a raft out of old rope and giant empty floaty things is conducive to making lasting relationships? This is where this song comes in, because you are building a ship to wreck. Literally. That ship is not going to turn into friend-ship and it certainly isn’t going to last twenty seconds on that lake.
WHAT KIND OF MAN
It’s Saturday night, you had a Tinder date, and he stood you up. Tragic. You were certain that your witty repertoire over the last week and his assurances that your ability to cross all your toes was quirky, not weird, showed that this was going to be true love. His smile, though only seen via the medium of a 10cmx10cm sized image, inspired a fire of devotion. God knows what an actual kiss would have done; literally, only God knows because the fact is you’re alone outside some overly hip pub in Dalston surrounded by people in dungarees. Go home. Put this song on full volume, dance dramatically around your pint sized London living room. When he messages you apologizing, play this song again and remember that guys who have more than one picture on their tinder profile of them with a baby animal are suspicious, not endearing. You’re better off and Flo knows it.
HOW BIG, HOW BLUE, HOW BEAUTIFUL
Listen to this in the morning, when you’re waking up and the sun is streaming in through white semi-sheer curtains. It is, and this is just one opinion but also the correct one, the perfect song to wake up to. Realistic because it literally starts with a statement about how pain is inevitable in love (maybe not relevant but good to know nonetheless) but also joyous and uplifting because the world is actually really big, and largely made of water so also very blue, and usually pretty damn pretty. What makes it even more perfect is that it ends with a repetitious paragraph on how today holds so many opportunities when you wake up. Damn Flo, real talk.
QUEEN OF PEACE
It’s Wednesday; you’re half way through the week and you realise that you haven’t actually really done anything that would constitute a ‘work-out’ yet. This makes you sad because running sucks, but is also free, and you can’t afford Netflix and the gym. The choice was obvious, and now you have to pay the consequences. You decide to go for a run. This song is a little angry, we don’t know at what, but it fits your mood. It’s got good running tempo and isn’t actually about sad love so you won’t be simultaneously in pain from working out and in emotional pain.
Since Flo literally wrote this song while waiting for a call from a lover, we feel like we should honour that. Maybe you had a Tinder date that didn’t end up with you realising that people could have fetishes about Muppet characters, maybe you made real life contact with another human being in a public place and they took your number. You’re waiting for their call, pretending that you actually just have A LOT of chores to do around your house because they might Facetime audio you instead of calling and you need wifi for that to work well enough to actually understand what they’re saying. Summary: you’ve been in your house three days straight and you’re going shit crazy. Listen to this song. Also, leave your house.
LONG & LOST
You’re from an Amish community and you’ve just finished Rumspringa. Modern society is not for you; iPhones are too big for human hands, the air tastes like petrol, Smart cars look stupid and people just don’t smile like they used to. So you decide to go back home, that Amish life is in fact for you and that you never, ever want to drink tequila again. That’s cool; you’re finding your happiness, this is good. Still, you’re a bit confused by what you’ve found outside of your hometown and how you might be accepted upon your return. Music helps with these things, so before you hop on the train, borrow your flatmates’ iPod for a bit and listen to this song while walking through a dark and eerily empty city. We totally didn’t steal this story line from OITNB season 3. Promise.
Ah, young love. That time when you realise that you aren’t actually the deeply cynical human that every early Angelina Jolie movie made you want to be; humans are good. Love is good. Falling in love does not actually involve any real falling, which is good. Between dates and late night chats you find yourself actually connecting to something other than the wifi; having always told yourself that you we’re a strong independent human who didn’t need another half, you find yourself somewhat attached and acting semi-irrational. Love is a form of madness that is socially endorsed. Throw out the rulebooks and slam face first into this ocean of emotion, to the sound of this song.
If ever a song wanted you to be more present in your life than this one, we haven’t found it. It probably doesn’t exist. This is maybe one of the most motivational things we’ve ever heard, even more so than that semi-terrifying video Shia LaBoeuf came out with earlier this year. Life is hard; eyeliner wings are the struggle, diet coke gives you cancer and the gender of your choice has probably recently caused some kind of emotional trauma because that is how relationships work. Flo can see the hole where your heart lies, and she’s telling you to fill that shit up with positivity. Listen to this when you need to remember that it’s okay to feel beaten down, but that it is not okay to be consumed by it. Flo, be our mentor.
We aren’t strictly sure power yoga is a thing, but if it is, this would be most power-yoga song we’ve ever heard. An upbeat, anthemic and powerful song about being the better person (through being a tree- which one can mimic through yoga, no?). Alternatively, good for your anger management class: rising above, letting things roll over your back, controlling your frustration.
MAKE UP YOUR MIND
Indecisiveness is infuriating and can make one feel just a little bit murderous. Instead of hurting said indecisive person, listen to this loudly and egg their house. Or throw plates at a wall. Or hug a stress ball very tightly.
Follow Camilla on twitter: @camillaackley or @intothefoldmag