Early Life and Growing Up:
Florence Welch was born August 28, 1986 in London, England. Her mother Evelyn Welch is a Harvard educated professor at the University of London. Her father Nick Welch is an advertising executive who confesses to being a "frustrated performer." Florence Welch was a successful student but dropped out of college to focus on her music. Family turmoil and tragedy when an early teen, including the suicide of her grandmother, left a powerful impact on Florence Welch's later music.
First Music By Florence Robot and Isa Machine:
The name Florence and the machine began when Florence Welch began making music with a good friend Isabella Summers. They performed under the name Florence Robot / Isa Machine, garnering local attention in 2006, until that was considered cumbersome and it was shortened to Florence and the Machine. The pair split for some time and Florence Welch continued to perform as Florence and the Machine. Isabella Summers has now returned as a regular keyboard player for the Machine which is considered to be the name given to Florence Welch's backing band at any particular point in time.
Style of Florence and the Machine:
According to press materials for Florence and the Machine, the music on Lungs is composed of, "harps, choirs, drums, elevator shafts, bits of metal, love, death, fireworks, string quartets, stamping, sighing, strange electronic wailing, lambs, lions, sick, broken glass, blood, moon, stars, drink, coffins, teeth, water, wedding dresses.. and the silences in between." Lyrics include Gothic imagery and fantasy elements, but Florence Welch insists the songs are ultimately simple and about boys, as well as love and pain. The music of Florence and the Machine has been praised for its musical daring and powerful emotion.
The album Lungs was released in the UK in July 2009. It was an instant hit in the UK but did not reach #1 until January 2010. The album spent over a year in the top 40 of the UK album chart and has been certified quadruple platinum. It includes three top 40 pop hit singles in the UK including the top 5 hit "You've Got the Love." Lungs won the British Album of the Year Award at the 2010 Brit Awards.
Florence and the Machine Reach American Shores:
Florence and the Machine broke into American pop consciousness in September 2010 with a stunning live performance of "Dog Days Are Over" at the MTV Video Music Awards. As a result Lungs rose to a new peak of #14 on the US album chart and "Dog Days Are Over" rose to #21. Later in November 2010 a performance of "Dog Days Are Over" on the hit US TV show Glee sent Florence and the Machine's original version into the pop top 40 again.