FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE

By Chirali Sharma My first encounter with the band, Florence and the Machine, was while watching an episode of the show The Vampire Diaries. Though it was only for a few short seconds, the song, the tone of it, the singer’s voice all of it, had me mesmerized. So, before I could forget I googled what I could remember of the few words, and thus, I was introduced to the magnificence of this amazing band called Florence and the Machine. It took me just one song, just one to fall in love with this band. For those who don’t know about this amazing band (indirectly, those who are living under a rock) Florence and the Machine, is an English indie rock band, with Florence Welch as the lead singer and Isabella ‘Machine’ Summers on the keyboard and backing vocals and a few other artists. The band was formed in the year 2007 when Florence Welch collaborated with her good friend Isabella Summers. The name of the band was formed out of their collaboration only, in the beginning they used to perform under the name Florence Robot/Isa Machine. According to Welch, “The name Florence and the Machine started off as a private joke that got out of hand. I made music with my friend, who we called Isabella Machine to which I was Florence Robot. When I was about an hour away from my first gig, I still didn’t have a name, so I thought ‘Okay, I’ll be Florence Robot/Isa Machine’, before realizing that name was so long it’d drive me mad.” But…I’m not here to copy/paste the Wikipedia page of this band. If you guys, want to know more about this band, you can Google them. I’m not here to state the facts, of how they came to be, or how much of a success they have achieved in such a short amount of time. I mean, in just these 7 short years, they have achieved an international success so huge, that even if someone hasn’t really heard their songs, they would still know who they are. They have already performed at prestigious platforms like the Oscars and the Grammy Awards. So, no, that it not my aim here, what I’m going to talk about is how they have affected me as a person and how much this band and their songs have helped me in situations that previously seemed unbearable. The one song which has been nothing short of a life saver for me is “Shake It Out“. The strong lyrics and the soulful voice of Florence Welch is a beautiful combination and is almost hypnotic in its effect. The very beginning of the song, with the line: ” Regrets collect like old friends                              Here to relive your darkest moments” creates a camaraderie with the listener, it brings to mind how in your darkest moments all your present and past regrets, mistakes are brought to the fore-front of your mind and its like they are forcing you to relive them all over again, to feel the agonizing pain of them once more. The lines: ” Its always darkest before the dawn” ” And its hard to dance with a devil on your back,                              So shake him off” are a personal favourite of mine. In a way, these lines tell you that just because you are in  such a low point in your life that you feel that there is no hope alive, is not reason enough to give up. Just before the dawn, the sky is at its darkest, its almost black in colour, but then the sun rises and slowly the sky starts to lighten up with every ray, thus just like that if you feel that there is no end to your misery does not mean that you give up, instead it means that you should work even harder and know that dawn is about to break. The second line tells us that you cant dance or move forward in life with the devil a.k.a. the regrets of the past clinging to your back. You have to shake them off to be able to properly move forward. The weight of our past mistakes slows us down; they weigh us down, and don’t let us enjoy the dance of life. Thus, we have to shake them off to be able to dance properly and freely. I can go on and on explaining every line of this song, as every line has a meaning, but I won’t. Because it will be too long and will eventually get boring. But I am going to say that this is an amazing song, filled with emotion and depth and every time life gets too rough for me, I listen to this song and it reminds me that yeah, maybe the devil is riding my back for now, or that I cant see beyond the darkness but it also gives me the strength to shake the devil off of my back and the hope that dawn is right around the corner.   So, readers this was my experience with this amazing band, please leave a comment where a song, by this band or any other has made a profound impact on you.

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