NME Festival blog: Release date, tour and what we know

Florence + The Machine‘s fourth record has been eagerly awaited since the release of Florence Welch and her band’s acclaimed third album ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ in 2015. There’s been a new record every two or three years – ‘Lungs’ was released in 2009, followed by ‘Ceremonials’ in 2011 – so can we expect another in 2018? Here’s everything we know so far.

Will Florence + The Machine’s new album be released in 2018?

Yes – according to Ted Cockle, CEO of Virgin Records. In a post on the Virgin website, Cockle is quoted as saying the label are “looking forward to great new music from Florence + The Machine, Blossoms, Chvrches, James Bay and Shawn Mendes” in 2018.

A biography page for Welch’s longtime collaborator Sally Herbert has also been updated to note she has worked on the string arrangements for the forthcoming record, though no indication of release date is given on the page.

Florence + The Machine are set to play Poland’s Orange Warsaw Festival on June 2, and the festival’s website recently speculated that album number four will be released in 2018, adding that fans could even hear it before the summer comes.

It’s also claimed that she’s been working on the record with Brett Shaw, who produced 2015’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful?

As discovered by Spanish music blog Binaural, the official website of London’s Miloco Studios claims that Shaw spent a large part of 2017 working on the record.

“Brett has spent 2017 recording the upcoming Florence And The Machine Album at 123 studios and out in L.A.”, the official biography for Shaw states.

Binaural has also shared a birthday note from Florence to Shaw which is dated as January 2017 – suggesting that the new record has been in development for well over a year.

Will there be a tour?

Last year, Welch teased her return by announcing festival appearances for 2018. As well as Orange Warsaw Festival, she will take her band to Germany’s Melt! Festival in July.

She will also play Bilbao’s BBK Festival between 12-14 July.

What has been said about the new album?

Speaking to The Telegraph about her upcoming fourth album last year, Welch said that she’d be exploring the “black hole” she fell into with alcohol and upheaval after splitting with boyfriend James Nesbitt in 2014.

“I’m happier now, I’m content, but I’m never going to be fixed, ever,” she said. “I don’t think that’s how it works. A lot of things almost worked for me: partying almost worked, being famous and successful almost worked, the relationship almost worked… but it won’t sustain you. These are transient things. It’s working out how to be OK regardless.”


What has happened since the last record?

After the release of ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ in 2015, Florence + The Machine stepped in to headline Glastonbury in place of Foo Fighters. Welch had previously broken her foot while performing at Coachella that year.

Since then, Florence has announced her debut book releaseUseless Magic will also give fans an insight into Florence’s creative process by featuring some of the subjects and areas which have inspired her writing. It’s out on July 5.

Last year, she worked with Banks and Steelz (aka RZA and Interpol’s Paul Banks) on their collaborative album. Speaking to NME, the pair said that Florence “killed it”.

Welch has also clashed with Tories, saying that the Conservatives did not have permission to use her cover of Candi Staton‘s ‘You’ve Got The Love’ at the Conservative Party conference in October 2017.

How has Greta Gerwig influenced Florence?

Florence has said that she got in touch with Lady Bird filmmaker Gerwig while working on her new album and the pair have since collaborated on a photo shoot.

“That songs can be triumphant and exciting but at the same time you just don’t have it figured out, that things can be joyful and you can be strong but there is an underlying sense that all the time you are questioning—I thought Greta would get it,” Florence told W magazine.

“I’ve never had anyone describe my music in the most perfect way. Greta said, ‘I like it because it’s like the deepest, darkest well of pain, and then you just throw a big party in there and invite everybody.’”


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