The Vinyl Word On...Dance Fever
Florence + The Machine - Dance Fever Ethereal songstress Florence Welch returns with her machine on their triumphant fifth studio album Dance Fever. Following the subdued and delicate nature of their previous record High as Hope, the British indie rock band find a bold and energetic sound weaved with the archaic musings on the record.
The concept of Dance Fever is articulated in the effervescent track ‘Choreomania’. A social phenomenon that occurred in Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries, townspeople would erratically dance themselves to exhaustion and, in some cases, death. Sounds delightful, right? Florence sees the beauty in it. Following a precarious two years since the beginning of the global pandemic, the track is a grand example of Florence’s ability to create art through the more gothic or morbid aspects of history. Performance is this exhausting ‘monster’ that she wishes to be cast away in the brooding track ‘Cassandra’, yet inevitably begs for it to return to her once it is gone. After the pandemic placed so much on the line for artists, the desire to dance and sing again became unbearable. Florence has spoken openly about her struggles with anxiety and social apprehension, but performance is a place where she truly feels ‘Free’ - similarly stated on the joyous track of the same name.
Florence has described the album as a ‘fairy-tale in 14 songs’. Her fascination with historical lore and mythology has shaped the band’s records since their rustic debut Lungs. Everyday human emotion is crafted through the melodious and artful trappings of the band’s discography. Dance Fever’s punching lead single ‘King’ is embellished with medieval symbolism to assess the force she feels between her personal life and her career. Similarly on the sombre ‘Girls Against God’, a song which she calls ‘big lockdown energy’, Florence reflects on the anger she felt during the tumultuous pandemic by tackling the bigger spiritual questions of life.
Florence + The Machine have often danced with darkness, but achieve an ironic beauty in however bleak the situation. Much like their goliath record Ceremonials, where ghostly musings of heartbreak are met by dazzling ornate production, Dance Fever sheds light on calamitous affairs through music so emancipating, it almost feels therapeutic. It is the deep dive into the obscure that makes Dance Fever so special, where parallels drawn between the mid-20th century plague and the current state of affairs is born from the widespread desire to be free, to simply dance (maybe not to death, though).
Available on CD and Vinyl from Goldendiscs.ie
Written By Our Own Pearse Walsh