From the odd small gig in London to the Pyramid stage, Florence + The Machine have brought fantastic indie rock and mesmerising vocals to the stage since 2007.

Florence Robot/Isa Machine

At first, it was Florence Welch and Isabella Summers who would jam together, gigging across London, showing off their unique sound. A little while later, a few more members joined the fold, including guitarist Rob Ackroyd and harpist Tom Monger. Amongst other musicians joining the group, finally a band was formed, but what would it be called? For years Isabella had been called Isabella “Machine” Summers, and Florence called Florence “Robot” by their peers. After flirting with the idea of Florence Robot/Isa Machine, they finally settled on the unforgettable, Florence + The Machine.

The collaboration of friends, Florence and Isabella, was certainly a fruitful one. Album number one, Lungs, was released in 2009 and what a journey it had! It first held the number 2 position in the UK Album chart, a position in which it stayed for its first five weeks in the world. By January 2010, after 28 weeks on the leader board, Lungs finally found itself in the top spot! But the journey wasn’t over there… by October of 2010, the album had stayed in the top 40 for 65 consecutive weeks – an incredible achievement. It became one of the best-selling albums of both 2009 and 2010, as well as earning the band the Brit Award for Best British Album.

Introducing...

For all aspiring bands out there, know that Florence + The Machine had to work their way up to this success. Their efforts ended up with them being promoted as part of BBC Introducing, a programme dedicated to discovering and supporting new music. BBC Introducing host an event each year in London with all kinds of resources, performances and talks to help you get your career on track. We’ve been there for the last few years and we’d 100% recommend attending! Anyway…

Lungs contains some real banging tunes. Two of the most notable are “Dog Days Are Over” which has garnered over 472 million Spotify streams, and “You’ve Got The Love”, a cover of Candi Staton’s classic tune. It was these two tracks which helped to soar Florence + The Machine to stardom.

Making History

Pardon the pun, but we all know that Florence Welch has got a set of lungs on her. This woman has an extraordinary and unique voice which is immediately recognisable and sets her apart from other vocalists in the industry. For this reason, we had to include fan favourite “You’ve Got The Love” in the Vocals syllabus, so you’ll find the track in the Grade 8 books!

Florence + The Machine released their second album in 2011 and went straight to the top of the Albums chart, as did their third album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. In 2015, the band graced the Pyramid stage, making Florence Welch the first British female to headline Glastonbury in the 21st century! The only other female headliner in the 2000s was Beyoncé in 2011.

Florence + The Machine have been nominated for six Grammy Awards over the years, which really highlights their amazing success as a band. We can only hope that they’ll continue creating beautiful music in the years to come.

We’ve loved learning more about this band, and Florence Welch is joined by some other incredible female vocalists on this syllabus, including the iconic Etta James and Alicia Keys. Check them out!