HomeEntertainmentFlorence the Machine Powers Up Taylor's New 'Tortured Poets' Era

Florence the Machine Powers Up Taylor’s New ‘Tortured Poets’ Era


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For longtime alternative rock fans, Florence Welch needs no introduction. The fiery-haired English singer has become a bonafide musical force of nature over the past decade, captivating audiences worldwide with her sweeping vocals and gothic, theatrical flair. 

But for Taylor Swift’s devout Swiftie fanbase, Welch’s contribution to Swift’s new album The Tortured Poets Department may mark their first full immersion into the world of Florence + The Machine. The two musical mavens have forged a formidable friendship in recent years, culminating with Welch’s featured vocals on the track “Florida!!!” – making this the perfect opportunity to shine a light on the singular talent that is Florence Welch.

The Voice of a Generation

Since exploding onto the scene with her debut album Lungs in 2009, Welch has embodied the rarity of a truly transcendent vocal force. Her range is spellbinding, capable of haunting intimacy one moment before soaring into an ecclesiastic wail that shakes venues to their core. Hers is a voice that simply cannot be contained, mirroring the feverish intensity she channels into every spine-tingling performance.

“I’d do anything to make you stay / Tell me what you want me to say,” she cried atop the thunderous, tribal-inspired beat of “No Light, No Light” from her 2011 breakout Ceremonials. The raw desperation of her delivery was so intoxicating that Billboard raved “Musically, the song exudes utter strength; lyrically, Welch is on her knees.”

That singular ability to merge soaring, anthemic bombast with intimate vulnerability has been Welch’s signature from the start. On the zeitgeist-capturing “Ship to Wreck” from 2015’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, her vocals billow from a hushed whisper into a hurricane-force howl as she laments “I make my admissions and had my window fits…I left you haunted.”

It’s precisely that fearless intensity that has cemented Welch as one of the quintessential voices of her generation over her five critically-acclaimed albums. At just 36 years old, she has already achieved iconic status alongside similarly galvanizing performers like Lorde and Hayley Williams.

Meeting of the Musical Minds

For Taylor Swift, the magic of Florence Welch had cast its spell long before their collaboration. “What sets Florence apart? Everything,” Swift gushed to Billboard in 2015. “She’s the most fun person to dance with at a party, but then five minutes later you find yourself sitting on the stairs with her having an in-depth conversation about love and heartbreak.”

The pair first crossed paths in 2012 through their mutual friend Blake Lively, one of Swift’s infamous “squad” members. But it wasn’t until a few years later that their artistic kinship began to blossom in earnest. Welch revealed that Swift’s advice proved instrumental in the creative process behind How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.

“Taylor said that you must sing about what’s happening in your life,” Welch told Billboard at the time. For an artist whose lyricism has always explored the depths of human vulnerability and longing, Swift’s reminder about unbridled honesty clearly resonated.

Their bond has only grown tighter in the years since, with the pair seen frolicking together at concerts in recent months – no doubt feverishly discussing the music they’ve been cooking up. Because if there’s one thing their artistic ethos holds in common, it’s a penchant for using their art to exorcize life’s darkest heartbreaks and gnarliest emotional dynamics.

Based on early glimpses into The Tortured Poets Department, the dissolution of Swift’s six-year relationship with actor Joe Alwyn seems to have sent her songwriting into scorched-earth mode. With “Florida!!!” listed on the tracklist as a duet, fans can only imagine the scorching tandem Welch and Swift’s vocals will create as they dissect romance’s wreckage together.  

For Welch herself, embarking on this new era with Swift must feel cosmically preordained. As one of music’s foremost poets of the


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