WATCH /// FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE - WHAT THE WATER GAVE ME
Florence fans have been given tantalising insights into her new material over the past few months, with new tracks being showcased live on her recent jaunt to America, including “Bedroom Hymns” and “What The Water Gave Me”. The latter has been given a studio makeover and new video, released as a ‘first taste’ of the new album (yet to be given a title) that is set to be released in the UK on Island on the 7th November this year.
Cutting between shots of Flo and co in the studio and her singing in what looks like a back garden of a country mansion, the video shows the two sides of the singer: the ethereal, dark, brooding stage presence that makes her live show so captivating and the bubbly, charming and eccentric person behind the music.
The song itself is a triumph, featuring strange noises and full of muted trademark harp. Florence’s voice is slightly more laid back than her usual ‘howl’ (she almost whispers the line ‘you couldn’t have it any other way’) before building to a glorious crescendo, boosted by the background choir that has appeared more and more frequently in FATM’s newest offerings. The song ends as gradually as it begins, with that harp petering out, meaning that the overwhelming nature of the song washes in and out in 5 minutes, like a high spring tide, leaving thoughts and imagery scattered like driftwood and pebbles on the beach. This shows Florence’s fixation with the darker side of life, with even the festival worthy, sing-a-long hook being a musing on drowning; ‘lay me down/ let the only sound be the overflow/ pockets full of stones/ lay me down…’ Of the song Florence said “In music and art what I’m really interested in are the things that are overwhelming. The ocean seems to me to be a great overwhelmer.”