Florence and the Machine will release their third album, How Big How Blue How Beautiful, on 1 June. According to the musician, the follow-up to 2011’s Ceremonials comes off the back of a period of unrelenting tour dates, and a subsequent few years reacquainting herself with reality.
How Big How Blue How Beautiful was written and recorded over the course of 2014. With arrangements by Will Gregory of Goldfrapp, it was produced by Markus Dravs (Björk, Arcade Fire, Coldplay) and includes contributions from regular Machine collaborators Paul Epworth, Isa Summers, Kid Harpoon as well as John Hill.
“I felt he had that balance of organic and electronic capabilities, managing those two worlds,” Florence Welch says of Dravs. “He’s good with big sounds, and l like big sounds. And he’s good with trumpets, and I knew I wanted a brass section on this record.”
While previous albums revelled in gothic themes like death, this time, she says, she concentrates on celebrating life. “Ceremonials was so fixated on death and water, and the idea of escape or transcendence through death, but the new album became about trying to learn how live, and how to love in the world rather than trying to escape from it. Which is frightening, because I’m not hiding behind anything, but it felt like something I had to do.”