Florence + The Machine came to general public interest post a performance and nomination in the 2010 VMA’s, as well as major exposure of their single ‘Dog Days Are Over’ from an episode in Glee; from there, it all just took off.

Crossing over was probably the best that could’ve happened to the band, God knows where they will be at this point if none of the aforementioned had occurred; they would’ve hopefully remained underground at least.

Florence’s approach to music is certainly unconventional and not the everyday sort of song constantly on radio, but it is something to be truly appreciated, as she brings exceptional dark lyricism and moody production which enthralls the listener into quite an experience of strings, almost constituting for a ritualistic trance.

Listening to Florence is like chanting and dancing around a bonfire on a full moon. She is carefree, dark and operatic at once, and all this makes up the newest single ‘Shake It Out’, which precedes Ceremonials, their sophomore release, longingly awaited by fans, after the encountered success of Lungs.

‘Shake It Out’ follows the theme patterns of songs meant to enhance and uplift, yet with Florence’s alternative lyricism stapled all over, referencing the devil being in one’s back, and hitting major downer states, with a catchy wailed hook followed by echoed Ooh-Whoa-oh’s.

Musically, it doesn’t move too far from the production of Lungs, which isn’t exactly a bad thing, but a smart move, which shows the sound of the band is growing steadily without either selling out or giving a whole 360 degree spin; even though one can hear a softer musical approach, with a dancier beat, their sound still remains true to elements of strings, tambourine and organs with resonating drumming.

It is a somber cut, but it oddly has its beams of sunshine plastered throughout, conveying it may it all seem dark before one gets to see the light; its uplifting, just not treated with popular motivational remarks; its more of a personal cleansing, if not a personal exorcism of all things negative.

It is a little gypsy,  a little soul, holding a tribal vibe, and a pagan ritual mood in the traces of ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ with the punch of ‘Dog Days Are Over’, which means it is massive and grand.

★★★★★

C.Perez

Download ‘Shake It Out’

Ceremonials available October 31st in the UK; November 1st in the U.S.