NEW MUSIC: FLORENCE + THE MACHINE | KING
Florence Welch anoints herself royalty in Florence and the Machine’s new gender-challenging song “King.” The Florence Welch-led band began teasing new material earlier this week, prompting speculation that the follow-up album to June 2018’s "High As Hope" will arrive soon. “I am no mother, I am no bride … I am king,” Welch sings on the song, which is built on throbbing bass and sparse textures. She howls long and proud as an orchestra joins the coronation halfway through. Near the end of “King,” Welch reveals her motivations singing, “I was never as good as I always thought I was/But I knew how to dress it up.” “As an artist, I never actually thought about my gender that much,” Welch said in a statement. “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 now, thinking about being a woman in my 30s and the future, I suddenly feel this tearing of my identity and my desires. That to be a performer, but also to want a family might not be as simple for me as it is for my male counterparts. I had modelled myself almost exclusively on male performers, and for the first time, I felt a wall come down between me and my idols as I have to make decisions they did not.” While the next Florence + The Machine album has still yet to be officially announced, "King" marks the band’s first new music release since 2021’s "Call Me Cruella," which featured in the Disney film "Cruella."