Album Review: Florence & The Machine – High As Hope

A few years back Florence became one of only a handful of women to ever headline Glastonbury festival. Within moments of her set beginning it was clear she belonged up there. She has the songs, the voice and the charisma to headline anywhere. It shouldn’t have taken a rock legend’s broken leg to give her a chance to take an opportunity she had already earned and then some.

In an era where women are struggling to even get on festival bills AT ALL, let alone headline, we need Florence and the Machine more than ever. We need her at her epic, show-stopping best. If Florence is up there that might convince more festivals to book more women and inspire the next generation of women to aim for the same heights.

So it is hugely disappointing to see major publications like the Guardian and Pitchfork call out festivals for not having gender equal bills while simultaneously giving some major releases by women in 2018 overtly critical reviews. This has happened to Chvrches and now Florence. Media attention and critical praise isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to festival bills but we’re kidding ourselves if we say it has no effect. When we need these artists to be celebrated, promoted and supported they are met with indifference and even sneering hatred by the media. What’s even more baffling is that the quality of music produced by these artists remains excellent and worthy of praise.

On her new album High As Hope Florence deals with a ‘dangerous’ period in her life, turning inwards to contemplate her own failings, the trouble with love, drugs, the world as a whole. Musically it is a little less baroque and dramatic than before, but the album still stuns with its big hearted whoosh of pianos and lush soundscapes. Continue reading “Album Review: Florence & The Machine – High As Hope”

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