Hear Florence + the Machine's 'Dance Fever'

The band's frenetic fifth album is out today
Hear Florence + the Machine's 'Dance Fever'
Since their 2009 debut LungsFlorence + the Machine have beckoned transcendence despite being firmly grounded in the body.

The Florence Welch-helmed outfit's fifth album Dance Fever sets in today via Polydor. Led by the raw yet stately first single "King," the album — produced by Welch, Jack Antonoff and Dave Bayley of Glass Animals — follows the band's fourth LP, 2018's High As Hope.

Welch found herself fascinated by the Renaissance phenomenon of choreomania, wherein groups of people — at times thousands — would dance themselves to exhaustion, collapse or even death. Given her extensive touring over the past decade-plus, the imagery resonated with the bandleader and became all the more prescient when the pandemic hit and she was forced to retreat to London.

While in lockdown, the songs she had been working on began to morph in the absence of the communion of live music and the togetherness movement, and in yearning for eventual reunions.

It ended up landing somewhere around "Nick Cave at the club," as Welch put it in a press release, incorporating elements of '70s Iggy Pop and longing-for-the-road folk in the vein of Emmylou Harris or Lucinda Williams.

Inspired by pre-Raphaelite tragic heroines, gothic fiction and folk horror films in equal measure, Dance Fever finds the Welch and her machine at the height of their cathartic potency. The singer-songwriter deconstructs her artistic persona, rendering her identity more stable and simultaneously in-flux, likewise reckoning with notions of masculinity and femininity.

Sometimes spiritual experience really is something plainly human; something magic born from the holy union of common flesh and earth.

Listen to Dance Fever below.