Magdalena Stąpor, Aleksandra Mielec

Co zainspirowało Florence do nadania tytułu ‘Lungs” jej debiutanckiemu albumowi?

Lungs is like a walk in the dark fairy glade and gloomy meadow, a walk on the dim moon or a frantic rush through the magic woods – this is what the first album of Florence + the Machine is really like. This is a peculiar medley of the world, the atmosphere and emotions. The songs, as if composed out of nowhere, together form a breathtaking whole. The album is about love, death, loss, suffering, and finally, growing up. It is an attempt at enchanting the world, casting a spell at reality. Most of all, it is pure magic, the most powerful spell of which are the mysterious lyrics with the wand wielded by Florence Welch. The singer herself says, “I want my music to sound like throwing yourself out of a tree, or off a tall building, or as if you’re being sucked down into the ocean and you can’t breathe. It’s something overwhelming and all-encompassing that fills you up, and you’re either going to explode with it, or you’re just going to disappear.” Lungs is suffused with vibrant blood, glowing in the veins, flowing through the lungs to the heart. It is sprinkled colours: bright red, quiet green, unpolished gold galore, and all-encompassing black. It is full of stars and moonlights, coffins, broken glass, drinks, gothic fairy tales and reveries, a beating heart and eyes closed. It communicates wailing, rebellion, chills, and an attempt at enchanting silence. Exploding, uncontrollable emotions are like a wild anthem among blooming flowers and dulcet trills, like a wind in the lungs and twisted thoughts.

Authors: Magdalena Stapor, Aleksandra Mielec

Translation: Iwona Slezak

What inspired Florence to give her first album a title ”Lungs”?

She came up with the title after writing the song “Between Two Lungs”. „It opened up the whole sound of the album(…)„Between Two Lungs” is where I think I found my sound.(…) Your lungs are your instrument. With music the drums are the heartbeat and then the voice is the lungs, so that’s your two core elements. The lungs are just me, I think. And the rest of the body is the Machine.”

“Fuck The Cake, Take The Ice Cream And I Think I Just Punched The Waiter” It was one of the titles that Florence jokingly came up with before settling on something a little more appropriate. Inspiring, isn’t it?

recording lungs

1. Dog Days Are Over

(Florence Welch, Isabella Summers) – single

2. Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)

Florence Welch, Paul Epworth – single

3. I'm Not Calling You a Liar

Florence Welch, Isabella Summers

4. Howl

Florence Welch, Paul Epworth

5. Kiss with a Fist

Florence Welch, Matt Alchin – single

6. Girl With One Eye

Matt Alchin, David Ashby, James McCool – cover

7. Drumming Song

Florence Welch, James Ford, Crispin Hunt – single

8. Between Two Lungs

Florence Welch, Isabella Summers

9. Cosmic Love

Florence Welch, Isabella Summers – single

10. My Boy Builds Coffins

Florence Welch, Christopher Lloyd Hayden, Rob Ackroyd

11. Hurricane Drunk

Florence Welch, Eg White

12. Blinding

Florence Welch, Paul Epworth

13. You've Got the Love

Anthony B. Stephens, Arnecia Michelle Harris, John P Jr. Bellamy – cover, singiel


Between Two Lungs is the deluxe version of Lungs album. On the second disc you can find the following tracks: Heavy In Your Arms, You’ve Got the Dirtee Love, few remixes, demos and recordings from iTunes Festival 10′.

1. Heavy in Your Arms

Welch, Epworth

2. You've Got the Dirtee Love (feat. Dizzee Rascal)

Stephens, Dylan Mills, Nick Cage

3. Hurricane Drunk (The Horrors Remix)

Welch, White

4. Strangeness & Charm (Live from Hammersmith Apollo)

Florence Welch, Paul Epworth

5. Swimming (Live from Hammersmith Apollo)

Welch, James, Stafford, Mackey

6. Dog Days Are Over (Yeasayer Remix)

Welch, Summers

7. Drumming Song - Live from the iTunes Festival '10

Welch, Ford, Hunt

8. Girl with One Eye - Live from the iTunes Festival '10

Alchin, Ashby, McCool

9. Hurricane Drunk - Live from the iTunes Festival '10

Welch, White

10. Dog Days Are Over - Live from the iTunes Festival '10

Welch, Summers

11. My Boy Builds Coffins - Live from the iTunes Festival '10

Welch, Hayden, Ackroyd

12. Hospital Beds - Live from the iTunes Festival '10

Cold War Kids

Dog Days Are Over

This is the second track I did where I felt I’d really found my sound. I recorded this with Isobel Summers who now plays keyboards in The Machine, in her tiny studio in Crystal Palace. The drums are me banging my hands really hard against the wall. The song was done over a month, because we only had nights to make music. I used to cycle up after art college – really tough, because it was all uphill! The title comes from that Ugo Rondine installation on the side of the South Bank, and it was rainbow letters that said ‘The dog days are over’. I’ve got this notebook where I write snippets of things, and the song was me flicking through, picking out phrases that I’d found and sticking them together over this song. A lot of people have said they think it’s about the Apocalypse. Or freedom. And someone said it was about the recession. But to me it just signifies being free, in that I’d made music in a way I’d never made it before.

And also made lyrics in a way that I’d typically never made them before. Usually I was sort of writing stories, but this time it really was about the song, the vocal line and just picking stuff out – random things I’d seen or heard that made up a whole.

It changed when we started playing it live, and that’s how we rerecorded it with James. But I had to bring in all the parts from Issa’s studio. We recorded a lot of the album on a shit Yamaha keyboard that cost less than £100, and we managed to keep it on most of the tracks. I’m proud of that!

Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)

I’d written all these dark songs, and the label suggested we should have something that was a bit more upbeat. In the process of trying to do that, I realised maybe I was sacrificing something. So I had a really upbeat piano and drums, but the lyrics that came out were, ‘This is the gift/It comes with a price/ Who is the lamb/And who is the knife? The rabbit heart is a reference to fear – I’m so afraid of what’s about to happen. Of being in the spotlight.

I'm Not Calling You A Liar

This was originally about two loves – how the ghost of your ex-love is always around when you start a new relationship. When your new boyfriend holds you, you kind of feel your ex-boyfriend’s arms. Those ghostly limbs. ‘I’m not calling you a liar’ was actually something a boyfriend said to me once. So it’s about the crossing over of two loves, of moving forward.


I was in a really intense emotional state for this one! I’d been so drunk and so badly behaved that I felt like a beast, I felt feral. I turned up to the studio wearing the same clothes from the night before and I was an emotional wreck. I was thinking about the extremes you go to when you’re in love, the way it takes over, and how that then turns into wanting to rip and tear.. Young love starts off so instant, but then you make mistakes, and it becomes sordid, sometimes. And dangerous. Then while we were in the studio, I got so over-involved with the idea of werewolves! I took this idea and ran with it, and all the ideas just came from Gothic horror: werewolves and wedding dresses, and licking beating hearts.. It was cool, because it got me out of my bad place, and into a creative place. When I was singing the refrain and doing the piano part, I suddenly realised, ‘At least something’s come out of this.’ It’s a release, for me.

Kiss With A Fist

I was 16 or 17 when I wrote this. I’d just fallen in love for the first time, and I’d also started hanging out with an older group of people, watching how their relationships worked. There was this one couple who were so cool, but so visceral and so intense. The guy never hit the girl, but I saw her lamp him a couple of times, and she’d always give as good as she got. But it wasn’t really the physical violence, it was more about the fact that their animal passion for each other was the thing that was attractive for them. It was how joyful destruction can be, and how alluring it is to be in a relationship that was so fiery. There was never a dull moment when they were around. I don’t know how they do it! I’m a conflict avoider. I think I write about such intense things because I’m actually really bad at expressing anger.

Girl With One Eye

It wasn’t written by me. I started hanging out with a punk band called The Ludes and they used to play this song live, but never recorded it. Something about it really touched me, and I used to sing it with them, onstage. Then when they stopped playing it, I started playing it in my sets. I’m really happy it’s on this album – it’s a nice connection with that part of my life. In my teens that band totally inspired me. They were the reason why I started writing songs – and probably why I started writing such dark songs.

Drumming Song

This is about when there’s that electricity between you, and a boy, and it’s completely unspoken. When they’re standing in front of you and you can’t breathe, can’t think, can’t do anything properly. I’m really geeky – if I like someone, I just become incapable. I remember with my first boyfriend, walking past the window of a pub, seeing he was in there and literally throwing myself on the ground and crawling on the floor because I was so scared! I feel things quite intensely, which is probably why the music is quite intense. If I really like someone, I like someone; if I’m sad, I’m sad.

I was listening to a lot of hip hop, and I wanted to make something that had that kind of beat to it. To me it’s the most forward-thinking music around. No one else is moving forward at such a pace!

Again, it’s really Gothic imagery – fairy tales and Edgar Allen Poe stories. I’d read a lot of Gothic horror when I was a kid. Also things like Sylvia Plath – I’ve always been a kind of literary miserablist!

Between Two Lungs

That was the first song I ever wrote by myself, so it’s crazy to me that it’s on the album. I was still at art college, but my first guitarist, Matt [Allchin, of The Ludes], had left and I wasn’t sure how I was going to be making music. I was still doing gigs, but I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. It started with the drums, dum, dum. I’ve always been interested in the lulls between notes and the atmosphere that silence creates. It’s all about the build, and the final release – the euphoria that you can get from music. But the silence around it, and the studio hiss – I love studio hiss!

It’s a song being built by someone who has no idea how to play anything, and is making it all up as they go along. The title actually comes from an 80s pulp book I’d found in a second-hand shop. It has some great titles in it. It became about a kiss – the air you share when you’re kissing someone. And the way it fills you up, and you don’t want the bubble to burst.

Cosmic Love

Cosmic Love was a joke title, but it stuck. The most hungover I’ve ever been when writing a song. I went to her studio after having been to a party, and I was lying on the floor wanting to vomit. We were working really hard on a song and just trying to make this shit piano part work, and all of a sudden I hit on one note, and I’d got it. We wrote the whole song in ten minutes. The first line ‘A Falling Star…’ it all just fell out of my mouth. I’ve never written a song so quickly, apart from maybe ‘Kiss with a Fist'”

My Boy Builds Coffins

This was a song we wrote as a band – most of the others were written by me with one other person. It’s very literal. My boyfriend at the time, who was in The Ludes, was going to build a coffin for the cover of their EP, so he couldn’t take me to the cinema.

Hurricane Drunk

This was written in about 10 minutes as well. I’d never had my heart broken before, and when I did I realised how delicious it can be, how intoxicating. You suddenly realise that all the little things you cared about don’t matter. You don’t care about anything. You think, I’m going to drink myself to death.’ And then you bump into them and they’re with another girl. You’ve been waiting for the worst to happen, and then when it does – you’re free. Nothing matters. All the wind is taken out of you, but then all of a sudden you’re like ‘I’m going out! And nothing can stop me, nothing can hurt me any more! I’m invincible, because you’ve hurt me so much.’

You've Got The Love

As a kid, going to clubs and raves, this song made me feel love. At Bestival last year we were top of the bill on that stage, so we were thinking of n amazing cover we could do, and I thought of Candy Staton. Even in rehearsals, playing it was just the most euphoric feeling. Then playing it live and seeing everyone’s arms in the air, and the faces – it was the best feeling ever! I was dressed as a genie sea-monster, and I remember looking at my guitarist as we played the first chords, and then there was the reaction and it was like tearing ourselves open and just exploding on the crowd, and then they all did it back. It’s a feeling you couldn’t express. I’m really excited that now in our live shows I’m going to be playing one of my favourite songs ever, loads.

Kiss with a Fist

Dog Days Are Over

Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)

Drumming Song

You've Got The Love

Hurricane Drunk

Cosmic Love

Heavy In Your Arms

Additional tracks that can be found on the foreign versions of the album:

  • Bird Song Intro
  • Bird Song
  • Falling
  • Hardest Of Hearts
  • Oh! Darling (Beatles cover)
  • Ghosts (demo)
  • Flakes (Mystery Jets cover)
  • Are You Hurting The One You Love?
  • An Offering (Rabbit Heart demo)
  • Girl with One Eye (Bayou Percussion Version)
  • Swimming
  • Dog Days Are Over demo


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