Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Florence & The Machine – Drumming Song

It was a public holiday in the UK yesterday, which is why we didn’t run anything…


Andrew Brennan: I hoped that this or “Howl” would be the next single. I cannot get enough of the anxious energy, the repetitive, unresolved lyrics, the urgent, anthemic chorus, the combination of piano and strings… There’s so much going on but it really, really works.

Edward Okulicz: “Drumming Song” is one of the standouts on Lungs, and the best summary of Florence’s talents as a writer and performer — two (or is that three?) choruses, a real urgency and believability in the singing, and a fantastic tune too. Even better is the production; in keeping with its title, the drumming is like a heartbeat in love one minute, a march the next, and the relentless pound of a sprint after that.

Keane Tzong: Listening to “Drumming Song” is all about waiting out its almost interminably boring first minute or so until the second chorus comes around. It’s an absolute monster of a chorus; shame it should be stuck in the middle of something so boring. The three times it appears are pretty damn exhilarating, though, so I’ll score this higher than I probably should.

Anthony Easton: Can I give this such a high mark because the video makes me ineffably horny? (in the old fashioned, sacred name of YHWH sense of the word)

Martin Kavka: By the end of a dozen listens to this, I have no idea what the words “chorus,” “verse,” or “bridge” mean in relation to this song. But that structural messiness is apt in a song about the higgledy-piggledy nature of eros. It possesses you, grabbing you even deeper when the person you want has no idea that you want him/her, and even deeper still when the institution that you want to relieve your desire (the Church) fails you. But don’t watch the video, which will make you giggle as you yell at your screen: “Run, Florence, run! Run through the church in your spangly gold panties!”

Martin Skidmore: This reminded me rather of “Gaudete” by Steeleye Span at times. I don’t regard this as a good thing.

Michaelangelo Matos: The medium-sized-’80s alt atmospherics that beguiled me despite myself with “Rabbit Heart” turn to mush here, despite or because of the taiko-esque drums: not sure which, don’t much care.

Kat Stevens: I am far more comfortable listening to F&TM now I’ve realised what was bothering me about her voice: it’s the Dolores O’Riordan tactic of adding an ‘H’ into nearly every vowel sound. This actually goes quite well with my mental image of Florence as the Lady Of Shalott.

Hillary Brown: Like the middle ground between 1980s experimental pop and medieval choral music, but that’s ground that don’t need to be trod.

Chuck Eddy: “Rabbit Heart” could still count as my favorite Kate Bush song in 24 years, and/or my favorite Tori Amos song ever. This song, on the other hand, needs way more drums.

Alex Ostroff: Florence is all bellowing lungs and banging drums, vague menace and bohemian choirs, so naturally she’s best appreciated turned up to 11, which is where “Drumming Song” resides. However, her best moments tie the thematic Nature cult elements to specific personal experiences — “Rabbit Heart” posits new love as pagan sacrifice; “Howl” equates lust with lycanthropy. The ‘drumming noise’ could be one of desire or fear or terror, but it’s never made clear exactly what’s at stake. Thankfully, the arrangement is stupendously overwhelming and the melody is appropriately epic. Bonus points for a music video straight out of Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce project.

Iain Mew: Induces exactly the same kind of clutter fatigue as “Rabbit Heart” did. “It fills my head up and gets louder and louder” indeed, but doesn’t do anything good with it.

Ian Mathers: This shares plenty of ingredients with the still-great “Rabbit Heart”, so I can’t figure out why I’m so underwhelmed. It’s less dramatic even with the “louder than sirens, louder than bells, sweeter than heaven and hotter than hell” part, and maybe that’s it, or maybe it’s the way the floaty middle eight trades out Kate Bush for, er, Sarah McLachlan. Still, this is more compelling than most of what we hear on the Jukebox; it’s just not up to the last one.

3 Responses to “Florence & The Machine – Drumming Song”

  1. Well, that is certainly a video.

  2. was i the only one who got a lot of Eurythmics on this?

  3. It’s not as Eurythmics-y as “Rabbit Heart” (noted by a few people at the time) but this still has the same vibe. I imagine the next single will be “Cosmic Love” which is far more Kate Bush-y.