Florence and the Machine (styled as Florence + the Machine) are an English indie rock band, consisting of lead singer Florence Welch, Isabella Summers, and a collaboration of other artists. The band’s music had received praise across the media, especially from the BBC, before they gained mainstream success. Specifically, the BBC played a large part in their rise to prominence by promoting Florence and the Machine as part of BBC Introducing.
The band’s debut studio album, Lungs, was released on 6 July 2009, and held the number-two position for its first five weeks on the UK Albums Chart. On 17 January 2010, the album reached the top position, after being on the chart for twenty-eight consecutive weeks. As of October 2010, the album had been in the top forty in the United Kingdom for sixty-five consecutive weeks, making it one of the best-selling albums of 2009 and 2010. The group’s second studio album, Ceremonials, released in October 2011, entered the charts at number one in the UK and number six in the US.
Florence and the Machine’s sound has been described as a combination of various genres, including rock and soul. Lungs won the MasterCard British Album award at the 2010 BRIT Awards. At the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, Florence and the Machine were nominated for Best New Artist. Additionally, the band performed at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards and the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Concert.
On 4 June 2014, Welch told NME that the band’s third studio album was in the works.
In January 2015, a fansite posted a photo showing Florence and the Machine’s upcoming album being mixed in a recording studio. The photo was removed, since then the photo has appeared on multiple news websites. The band has been confirmed for numerous European festivals in summer 2015 including Way Out West in Sweden, Super Bock Super Rock in Portugal and Rock Werchter in Belgium, among others. On 9 February, on a private London show, the band played all the songs from the new album in full, amongst them “Ship to Wreck”, “Caught”, “Delilah” and the upcoming album’s first single, “What Kind of Man“.
Florence and the Machine published the video for the title track of their studio album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, on 10 February. The song is mostly instrumental, with a few verses sung by Welch at the beginning. On 12 February, lead single “What Kind of Man” was revealed on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 show. The music video for “What Kind of Man” was released that same day on the band’s YouTube page.