I am listening to Florence + the Machine and feel as if the music is pouring through my body. I can imagine the notes tumbling out of the speakers and falling head first into my ears. Each note gracefully makes its way through my ear drums and causes a nervous reaction in my brain. Small circuits of electricity fire as the drums from “Cosmic Love” pound; the twinkling ignites images of blue static and soft glows behind my corneas; the harp sends spiraling shivers through my extremities. It registers in my emotional center, and a part of me wants to dance a tribal rhythm out, pounding my bare feet upon the floor, but then the controlled self that simply harnesses that energy and focuses it into an intellectual dance as my fingers fly across the keyboard pounding out alpha numeric steps.
It is intriguing that the two songs that I crave are “Cosmic Love” and “My Boy Builds Coffins.” Both songs have strong percussion. Each song, though, uses percussion in different ways. One is the heartbeat to the song, giving life to the experience. The other drives the lyrics swiftly forward, leaving little room for breath or acknowledgement, almost as if she is singing these words in the last moments before eternal sleep. I cannot help the shivers that run through my spine as each of these songs progress to a climatic moment. Florence Welch, with soulful voice and devastating honesty, belts out secret truth, an unknown puzzle come together, from deep within me: “The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out, you left me in the dark. No dawn, no day, I’m always in this twilight, in the shadow of your heart.”
“Cosmic Love” has been a favorite of mine since first listen. The music echoes what I feel; the words wrap around my head and my heart, responding to a deep knowledge, something intrinsic, unintelligible, inexplicable. “My Boy Builds Coffins” has poetry in the music, with plucking guitar rhythms and constant percussion, it spins circles in my mind, answering thoughts with confusing roundabouts and circular wordplay. It is these features that have led me to Florence’s altar of beauty. Her words, her music, her heart and soul that manifest itself; these call to me like a lonesome song in the midst of a dark night. (“I heard your heart beating, you were in the darkness too, so I stayed in the darkness with you.“) And the beauty reminds me again and again that I need to let go of my ghosts. Her boy builds coffins, he makes them all day, he made one for himself, and one for her, and one day he’ll make one for me.