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Happy Birthday Florence Welch!

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Florence and the Machine have built themselves as a household name over the past decade, from the release of four albums (all of which have made it into the UK top 10 charts) to numerous sold out tours and an iconic Glastonbury headline set. What better way to celebrate the redheaded frontwoman's 32nd birthday than to look back at some of her most memorable tracks. 

Having released over 100 songs in a range of styles including covers, collaborations, soundtracks and accoustics, choosing just ten songs to represent Florence's best work is like choosing your favourite child. However, in honour of her birthday, here are the tracks that stand out from the rest...

1. Dog Days Are Over

As the opening track of Florence’s debut album Lungs, 'Dog Days Are Over' has become an anthem of its time. This feel-good track is more than enough to get anyone moving; whilst the energy and liveliness that Florence emits when performing it live can be considered as one of a kind. You can't help clap along to the memorable beat either! 

2. Delilah

Taken from the amazing How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, ‘Delilah’ is Florence at her strongest both in terms of vocals and lyrics, in fact the lyrics “Too fast for freedom” which are repeated throughout are even tattooed on her ankles. With the song building up to a fast paced chorus, we are soon met with an eruption of power, emotion and sound.

3. Shake it Out

From the opening notes of the organ to the final vocal, it is impossible not to love this song from Florence’s second album Ceremonials. A fan of audience participation, Florence has been known to employ her crowd at gigs and festivals as her ‘hungover choir of angels’ to sing along with her, which just makes the experience of seeing her live even more epic. 

4. Sweet Nothing

Not exactly a Florence and the Machine song, but Florence’s collaboration with Calvin Harris in 2012 for ‘Sweet Nothing’ can never be forgotten! We saw a more EDM/pop version of Florence here, as it was paired around the same time as Calvin Harris’ remix of ‘Spectrum’. It has only ever had its live debut as a slower more acoustic track, but we hopefully we will see it performed in its full glory one day.  

5. Patricia

Within her most recent album High As Hope is the gem that is ‘Patricia’. The soulful song was written as a tribute to Patti Smith who she refers to as her “North Star”, and mixes in pace throughout. It is also a track that reflects a similar sound in its outro to that of ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ making it even more beautiful.

6. Ship To Wreck

Written about the many house parties Florence held in her house in London whilst having time off from performing, ‘Ship To Wreck’ is definietly one of Florence’s best pieces of work to date. It carries rhythmic similarities to a Fleetwood Mac song, whilst the catchy lyrics and poppy style makes it a tune that will be stuck in your head for hours.

 

7. What The Water Gave Me

Considered a darker song of Florence’s, ‘What The Water Gave Me’, is a work of magic. Made up of layers of instruments and brooding lyrics, it isn’t until we pass the 3 minutes mark that the song really hits its build up. Almost like a spiritual awakening, Florence’s echoing vocals that are seen through this track are a perfect example as to why she is one of the best artists around.

 

8. Cosmic Love

Hauntingly beautiful is one of the only ways to describe ‘Cosmic Love’. From the glittering harp to the heart-breaking lyrics, it was songs such as this which helped propel Florence into the spotlight; No dawn, no day, I'm always in this twilight / In the shadow of your heart”.

9. Hunger

Originally written as a poem, ‘Hunger’ was a song that Florence thought she would never release due to the subject matter of confessing to her struggles with an eating disorder in her teenage years, and mirroring this feeling to the way “We all have a hunger” and craving for desire and love. Mixing this heavy subject matter with a beautiful instrumental and you can really feel the sensitivity behind the song.

10. You've Got The Love

Written and first performed by Candi Staton in 1986, ‘You’ve Got The Love’ was a B Side for Florence’s ‘Dog Days are Over’ due to her love for the song. It has since became one of her most well known releases, and who can forget her performance of it with Dizzee Rascal at the 2010 Brit Awards! Amazing and upbeat, it cannot be beat.

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