Florence + the Machine have today confirmed details of their hugely-anticipated new album High As Hope which will be released on 29 June on Virgin EMI. The first official single, Hunger, also premieres today, accompanied by stunning new video directed by AG Rojas which can be seen above.
Unveiled today, ‘Hunger’ pairs Florence Welch’s intimate lyricism with a broader sense of acceptance, community and joy. Hunger effectively acknowledges those holes in our pysche that we try to fill with love and hate, obsessions or addictions, but you can ultimately only ever satisfy yourself. As Welch herself puts it, “this song is about the ways we look for love in things that are perhaps not love, and how attempts to feel less alone can sometimes isolate us more. I guess I made myself more vulnerable in this song to encourage connection, because perhaps a lot more of us feel this way than we are able to admit. Sometimes when you can’t say it, you can sing it.”
Hunger introduces Florence + the Machine’s fourth album, High As Hope, which ventures into new territory as much as it reaches back to one’s roots. Florence Welch started writing the record (which is also the first she has officially co-produced) in solitude in South London, routinely cycling to her studio in Peckham every day to, as she puts it, “bang on the wall with sticks”.
She took the songs to Los Angeles with her friend and co-producer Emile Haynie, opening them up along the way for collaboration with the likes of Kamasi Washington, Sampha, Tobias Jesso Jr, Kelsey Lu and Jamie xx. Welch mixed the record in New York, where the daily view of that iconic skyline – often in stark contrast to the chaos of the wider world – gave the album its upbeat title.
On High As Hope, Welch writes now about her teens and twenties with a renewed, more mature perspective: of growing up in South London, of family, relationships and art itself. An album that mixes high and low – from a tribute to Patti Smith one minute to being ghosted over text by a date the next – High As Hope is made up, says Welch, “of joy and fury”…but with the joy arguably winning out, in the end. “It’s always a work in progress, and I definitely don’t have everything figured out. But this feels like quite a pure expression of who I am now, as an artist, and an honest one. I’m just more comfortable with who I am.”
High As Hope full tracklisting:
‘South London Forever’
‘Sky Full of Song’
‘The End of Love’
High As Hope is released on 29 June. Pre-order it here.