Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine

Sometimes calm and ethereal and at other times powerful and rich, this track's acoustic strumming and melodic harp lines, paired with rhythms built mainly on tambourines and hand claps gives the song a lightness even when the vocals become thickly layered and the snare drum more insistent.  To me it has an effervescence, like pale bubbles floating to the surface in a glass of soda, and the song seemed awash in shades of light blues and teals, at times almost blindingly white.

This photograph by Irene Suchocki captures the essence of the song most completely.  An abstraction of falling snow, the lines of the twigs pointing towards the upper right corner and the brighter tones of the flakes at the top of the image almost make it seem more like those effervescent bubbles rising.  The smattering of unfocused snowflakes gives a sense of the lightness as well as well as an energy of movement.

This dress by Italian label Larime Loom also captures the lightness of the song and the cool colors, but draws more attention to the enrgy and pulse.  The cinched waist creates lines that shoot out in every direction like the bursts of sound created with every return of the more layered sections with the snare.

This dress really captures the moment in the song when the rhythm drops out and Welch's voice soars to those calm heights (approximately 1:40). In her voice, the notes sounds crisp and clear (almost hauntingly so), and I was struck by a pure white, with only the barest echoes of the blues and teals.  When the rhythm returns suddenly, the song to me looks different, with more white and less blue appearing than had before perhaps a testament to the addition of new, higher vocal layers at the end.


Florence Welch works two distinctive looks, both of which are always bold. Her day wear comprises vintage pieces in warm neutrals, both menswear (such as shorts with loafers and a blazer) and feminine looks (knee-length floral print dresses). When performing, she embraces dramatic draped designs, often going bare foot. Though she favors golds and creams, she's just as likely to black leather and lace. Her's is a style that is at once timelessly classic and stunningly modern, with a balance between the grounded and the ethereal. A perfect expression of her music.

And of course, don't forget her signature red lipstick!

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