Florence + the Machine (aka Florence Welch and backing band) has announced a new album, High As Hope, and shared a video for a new song, “Hunger.” High As Hope is due out June 29 via Republic. The album features Kamasi Washington, Sampha, Tobias Jesso Jr, Kelsey Lu, and Jamie xx. Below is the A.G. Rojas-directed video for “Hunger,” followed by the album’s tracklist and cover art, as well as her upcoming tour dates.
Welch wrote, co-produced, and recorded the majority of High As Hope by herself, cycling to her studio in Peckham every day. It’s the first time she’s co-produced a Florence + the Machine album. Then she finished the songs in Los Angeles with her friend and co-producer Emile Haynie and mixed the album in New York. Her daily views of the New York skyline inspired the album’s title, because, as a press release says, the NYC skyline is “often in stark contrast to the chaos of the wider world.”
Of “Hunger,” Welch had this to say in the press release: “This song is about the ways we look for love in things that are perhaps not love, and how attempts to feel less alone can sometimes isolate us more. I guess I made myself more vulnerable in this song to encourage connection, because perhaps a lot more of us feel this way than we are able to admit. Sometimes when you can’t say it, you can sing it.”
The press release says that on the album Welch “writes of growing up in South London, of family, relationships and art itself.” In Welch’s own words: “There’s a lot of love in this record, loneliness too, but a lot of love…. It’s always a work in progress, and I definitely don’t have everything figured out. But this feels like quite a pure expression of who I am now, as an artist, and an honest one. I’m just more comfortable with who I am.”
Florence + the Machine shared a brand new song, “Sky Full of Song,” a few weeks ago and it was released on limited edition 7-inch on Record Store Day (it was one of our Songs of the Week). It is included on the album. Welch also previously announced some May tour dates. They include shows at Los Angeles’ Walt Disney Concert Hall, New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music, and London’s Royal Festival Hall. The shows will partly benefit various homeless charities, with £1.00 from each ticket to the London show going to Shelter, $1.00 from every New York ticket going to Win, and $1.00 from every Los Angeles ticket being donated to Downtown Women’s Center.
“Sky Full of Song” was shared via a video directed by A.G. Rojas, a black & white clip mainly featuring Welch singing the song whilst lying down. Welch had this to say about the song in a previous press release: “This was a song that just fell out of the sky fully formed. Sometimes when you are performing you get so high, it’s hard to know how to come down. There is this feeling of being cracked open, rushing endlessly outwards and upwards, and wanting somebody to hold you still, bring you back to yourself. It’s an incredible, celestial, but somehow lonely feeling.”
The “Sky Full of Song” 7-inch included on the flipside a recording of “New York poem (for Polly),” which is taken from Welch’s forthcoming book, Useless Magic, which is out July 5 via Crown Publishing/Penguin. A press release describes it as “a collection of lyrics, artwork and poetry offering a unique, personal insight into her creative process.”
Florence + the Machine’s last album was 2015’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.
High As Hope Tracklist:
3. South London Forever
4. Big God
5. Sky Full of Song
8. 100 Years
9. The End of Love
10. No Choir
Florence + the Machine Tour Dates:
May 5 – Halifax, U.K. – Victoria Theatre
May 6 – Scunthorpe, U.K. – Scunthorpe Baths Hall
May 8 – London, U.K. – Royal Festival Hall
May 13 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Academy of Music
May 14 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Academy of Music
May 21 – Los Angeles, CA – Walt Disney Concert Hall