Florence + the Machine

Florence Welch at Governors Ball in New York this past weekend. (Andrew Boyle for Flavorwire)

Florence + the Machine’s ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ and the Frustrations of Tasteful Pop

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In a recent interview with BBC Radio personality Zane Lowe, Florence Welch explained that her new producer set some ground rules when it came to making her third album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, released last week. As part of an effort to introduce space and earthiness to Florence + the Machine’s “maximalist” aesthetic, Markus Dravs placed a pint glass that said, “Water to drink from, not write about” in the recording studio. In addition to banning Welch from singing about ponderous bodies of water, he stripped back the layers and layers of sweeping instrumentals in an attempt to highlight her songwriting. Welch’s initial reaction: “Where’s the crescendo and the fanfare?”
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june-albums

10 Albums You Need to Hear in June

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Late spring and early summer are pop music primetime, as Song of the Summer contenders start to jostle on the charts. In terms of albums, there’s no shortage either, particularly this week with the release of Major Lazer and Florence + the Machine’s new (and extra poppy) ones, plus anticipated debuts from Jamie xx and Girlpool. The rest of the month isn’t too shabby, either: Jenny Hval, Hudson Mohawke, Kacey Musgraves, Miguel, and… Read More

Literary Mixtape: Arya Stark

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If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: George R.R. Martin’s feistiest heroine, the indomitable Arya Stark.
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