Fall under the spell of Florence + the Machine

Florence Welch fronts her band at the Garden on September 14.

Going all the way back to their debut album “Lungs,” in 2009, Florence + the Machine hasn’t been known for what would be categorized as dance music. Fronting the band, British singer-composer Florence Welch has used her mighty, often almost-operatic voice in songs about good relationships, bad relationships, drug use, eating disorders, and Patti Smith.

Some of them are slow and ballad-like, some are poppy, others rock out. Some go up and down in tempo and intensity, others could pass for show tunes. Dig in, and you can even find a nod to Enya’s Celtic new-age-iness, and an anthemic cover of “Stand by Me.” There’s so much variety in Welch’s song choices because, growing up in London, and starting singing lessons at 11, she’s covered a lot of musical ground, and her tastes ranged from grunge and punk to French and Italian arias.


Her records sell well, and her concerts (at which she’s been known to appear barefoot) are packed affairs. But dance music? No, not quite what her fans have been clamoring for.

Until now. If the three selections that have been released from the upcoming album “Dance Fever” (due out May 13), are any indication, Florence + the Machine are exploring some new territory. And they’ll be doing it during the Dance Fever Tour.

“King,” a song about self-doubt, female empowerment, and the importance of art, and “My Love,” which has Welch plaintively, powerfully, and repetitively crying, “I don’t know where to put my love,” are extremely danceable. And though “Heaven Is Here” — featuring her singing the creepy lyric, “With my gun in my hand you know I always get my man” — won’t lead to listeners getting up and moving to the music, the video for it has some noteworthy choreography.

Welch is one of those artists who’s just full of surprises. Reports have been confirmed that when the dust settles from the current tour, rather than immediately getting to work on another album, she’ll be putting the finishing touches on her lyrics for “The Great Gatsby, A New Musical.”

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