Cue the Artist

Female artists in the music and film industry

Tag: Florence and the Machine

Tuesday Tunes : Losing musical geniuses to the US of A.

by kranARI

It frustrates me that we are losing great artists like Adele and Florence Welch to the US of freaking-A. This being said, I am half American. However, living in the UK, I feel that when a country produces an artist as brilliant and as talented as the two ladies above, they should be capable of keeping them, don’t you think?

florence welch Vogue by Norman Jean Roy, September 2012

 Vogue by Norman Jean Roy

For one, Florence Welch might be signed to Island Records (based here in the UK) but lately, it feels as if she’s been touring the US forever! She hasn’t done a UK gig in a while and my fear is that now that she’s charmed the pants off US audiences, she might never return…

On the same level,  Adele seems to have a similar effect on American audiences. The genre of her music and vocal stylings have made her a major hit in the US and it is the “appropriate” thing to do – when you decide to conquer America, usually you can conquer the rest of the world.

Adele Adkinscourtesy of Katie McCaffrey

Are we going to ever get these artists back or will the lure of the musical Happy-Meal contract glue them to the continent over the pond. These are sad, sad times…

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Feature Friday : Can you please stop doodling? Florence Welch.

by kranARI

Florence Welch, photo by Andrea Radulescu, MTV photo by Andrea Radulescu, MTV

Tonight we planned to go to my very good friend’s concert. You see, she is a pianist, an excellent one and that, who is incredibly technical and engaging. The funny thing that happened (something which I had forgotten about that I do) is that during the concert – I manically started drawing all over the program! Not a terribly odd thing to do in my mind, but something funny started to happen. As I looked up between pieces to give the musicians a well deserved clap, I caught some really nasty glares coming from no other than my friends sitting next to me – So I decided during the intermission, as if I was doing something horrible and naughty to turn to my girlfriend and ask her if it was indeed horrible to drawing during the performance. Turns out, it looked like I was incredibly BORED! Not true! In fact I was so engaged that I was inspired to unleash some creative juices…(and don’t let your mind go all dirty on me)

Unfortunately it reminded me of my school days, where I literally used to draw my way, through my afternoons and nights of classes only to offend my teachers and often get scolded for not paying attention. The fact is, that people never realized that creative people like me often need visual stimulus and sometimes several things going at once in order to improve their concentration.

Which brings me to people who are as creative as Florence Welch. It makes me laugh to think she was also one of those kids who got told off in school for randomly breaking into song, but this also simultaneously slightly upsets me. Looking into her past, you get the impression that she was one of those people who was creative from the get go – even in her school days. In the time she spent at the Camberwell college of the arts, she studied illustration before quitting early to follow her musical aspirations. Lucky for us, she became a musician instead of an illustrator, yet her art school influences are evident in her work even today.

florence-and-the-machine

In fact, her entire musical persona is a highly creative one, whether it be her outfits, her music videos, her fiery red hair, her makeup or her lyrics. Her outfits change chromatically, virtually determined by the shade of her hair at the time and her music videos evolve artistically depending on mood and artistic exploration. One element she never leaves out however is her incredibly cute interpretive dance. Cosmic Love, Dog Days and Drumming song are the first that come to mind when one thinks of creatively loose choreography. On that same note, unlike her lyrics that speak of love, lust, isolation and death – her videos have a broader theme. They are, in my opinion at least, interpretive and symbolic rather than literal.

Florence and the Machinecourtesy of Pretty Young Things.com

Perhaps these thematic interpretations fit well with her epic / powerful voice. Even live, whether it be arenas or studios, her voice radiates emotion and power – leaving space for creative improvisation. Look how she builds the tension in a song using her body and voice in order to rile up the following arena.

ARENAS

In a quieter setting like a radio station, she effectively tones down her vocals and physicality in order to fit the environment, yet without loosing the power.

Live on KEXP

At the ZOO

This particular video is the epitome of what it means to be an interpretive artist. At a random setting, what amazes me is that Florence is able to jam with her guitarist and give this song a completely new spin. This for me is an indication of true talent – the ability to effectively improvise on the spot. Her and the guitarist mash so well that it sounds like a completely different song. Love it!

Here Florence talks about her music

All of this musical analysis leads me to only only one conclusion: IF more schools would encourage creative expression during class, not only would artistic people like us feel more at home (not like the freaks we are labeled to be) but also FREE to express our true self and embrace the fact that even though we are all different, we can be just as effective and creative as the next person if allowed to be.

Wicked Wednesday : Ray-bans have Balcony sessions?

by kranARI

Apparently they do. And they’re awesome! The best thing I’ve seen in a long time. Draw a background sheet of London with buses and black cabs driving around while singers strum along and belt out tunes on a balcony top. Whoever came up with this was a genius. Hand the artist a pair or Ray-Bans and let them do their thing…

LAURA MARLING

Laura_Marling

I ‘ve previously mentioned Laura Marling in a past Feature Friday article, so if you want to see her Ray-Ban session singing “Rambling Man”, click on this link and be transported back in time…

MARINA & THE DIAMONDS

marina and the diamonds

Next up, Marina and the Diamonds front-woman sings “Obsessions”

PEGGY SUE

PeggySue

Another fab British folk duo that I discovered at a Laura Marling gig is Peggy Sue. Here they sing “Yo-mama”

FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE

florence and the machine-by-tom-beard

Fabulous slash weird (confession : her hand movements scare me slightly) – Florence Welsh sings my favourite “Kiss with a fist” from the Isle of Wight ray-ban sessions.

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