Pick of the Week: Florence + the Machine “King”

Florence + the Machine "King"
Graphics by Ainsley Basic

By Kira Weaver, Staff Writer

Coming out of a four-year hiatus, Florence + The Machine makes a long-awaited return with a self-reflective single titled “King.” The song still holds many elements reflective of earlier works such as genre, instrumentation, and structure— only now, our beloved narrator Florence Welch illustrates to her audience new problems that have come over the years of her silence. 
 

DIVING INTO THE MEANING OF “KING”

Welch repeats the phrase “I am no mother, I am no bride — I am King” throughout her new release in a chant-like manner. “King” serves as a reflection of Welch’s emotional state as she becomes a maturing force within the music industry. 

In a press release alongside the single, she wrote, "As an artist, I never actually thought about my gender that much. I just got on with it. I was as good as the men and I just went out there and matched them every time.” But she said she has come to feel more conflict in her wants compared to male musicians. “Thinking about being a woman in my 30s and the future… I suddenly feel this tearing of my identity and my desires,” she said. Adding on, she spoke of experiencing the common pressure women face to start a family and realizing it isn’t as easy for female musicians. 

In the second verse of “King” especially, Welch dives into these ideas through the lyrics. She sings, “But a woman is a changeling, always shifting shape. Just when you think you have it figured out, Something new begins to take.”
 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR FLORENCE + THE MACHINE? 

“King” is the first song off of Florence’s upcoming album Dance Fever. The release comes as an awakening after the artist took a hiatus following the album High as Hope, released in 2018. Florence + the Machine has released two additional singles since “King” — “Heaven Is Here” and the most dancey, electronic track of the three, “My Love.”

A press release described Dance Fever as being influenced by the idea of choreomania, which is when people dance by themselves to a point of exhaustion or even death, a phenomenon more common during the Renaissance era. Jack Antonoff and Dave Bayley have been named as co-producers on the new record.

 
Every Monday, our music staff brings you a new Pick of The Week, detailing some of our favorite songs. Check out our previous Picks of the Week here, and make sure to tune in to WERS 88.9FM!

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