Top 20 Florence + The Machine Songs

Source: NYTimes

It’s been a few months since Florence + The Machine released their 3rd album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015), so I’ve decided to make a list of their best hits. Here we go!

20. Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up).

Album: Lungs (2009).

The imagery in this song is really strong. I like the themes of sacrifice, transformation, and empowerment throughout the song. What I love, and what got me into F+TM, is the harp which is prevalent on this track.

19. No Light, No Light.

Album: Ceremonials (2011).

I love the grandeur of this song. There’s a really wide soundscape in this song, with the organ accompanied with the drums and harp. The highlight of this song is the bridge where Florence holds a note for about 15 seconds. Good themes of inversion in this song with light being seen as evil.

18. Spectrum.

Album: Ceremonials (2011).

I adored this song when it first came out. Florence’s voice reaches such an astounding range. The instrumentation is strong with the harp and percussion. That chorus is really transcendent.


17. What Kind of Man.

Album: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015).

The first song I heard of the new album. I was seriously impressed. The guitar and pounding drums after the intro are really heavy, something I hadn’t heard much of in a F+TM song before. When I heard the trumpets though… I love brass so having it in a F+TM song is my ultimate dream! Strong vocals. I also like how she’s putting the love of a man into question.

16. Breath of Life.

Album: Snow White & the Huntsman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2012)

Florence’s vocals are so strong in this track. It really showcases her lower register. The orchestra arrangement in this is impressive and cinematic. What makes this song for me though are Isabella’s keyboards. They just add a whole dimension to the song. She also produced this song.

15. Drumming Song.

Album: Lungs (2009).

This is one of F+TM’s more sensual songs. The lyrics are on of their best: “There’s a drumming noise inside my head, it starts when you’re around” & “As I move my feet towards your body, I can hear this beat.” She also refers to the river, her common theme of water. Drums are at their best in this song.

14. What The Water Gave Me.

Album: Ceremonials (2011).

The distorted guitar on this track… Wow. The instrumentation in this is really otherworldly with the guitar, keys and harp. What I love most are the lyrics. Florence talks about “Pockets full of stones” and laying down in the water. A lot of nature imagery. This song always reminds me of Autumn, particularly Halloween. And that harp outro… yes please!

13. Delilah.

Album: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015).

The changes in beat throughout this track are impressive. I love the line “Never knew I was a dancer, ’til Delilah showed me how.” The drums and keyboard are strong here. Good imagery too.

12. Howl.

Album: Lungs (2009).

I love wolves, so invariably this was going to do well. Apart from that, the atmosphere in this song is so compelling. There’s so much lust and danger. Strong instrumentation with the drums, keys and guitar. The lyrics though… Florence puts herself in the position of wolf and talks about hunting someone. Strong imagery throughout. Love the line “A man who’s pure of heart and says his prayers by night can still become a wolf when the Autumn moon is bright.”

11. Bedroom Hymns.

Album: Ceremonials (2011).

This song is so sexual. Just going by the title alone. Basically, the lyrics speak of paying tribute to a lover in the bedroom, like an idol. It’s so profound! Love the drums and percussion.



10. Cosmic Love.

Album: Lungs (2009).

This is a special song for me. It’s the first F+TM song I ever heard. All the way back in 2008. It’s where my love for them started. Love the harp, keys and drums, especially the pounding in the chorus. There’s a nice contrast to the loud chorus and the delicate verses. Florence’s voice manages to be so strong and sweet throughout.

9. Queen of Peace.

Album: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015).

That brass. Gotta love it! Impressive string section too. The instrumentation in this new album is just really composed. Love the pacing throughout the song and the guitar. Lyrics talk about chaos, a common theme throughout this album. That brass outro is superb.

8. Never Let Me Go.

Album: Ceremonials (2011).

One of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. The keys in this are so delicate. Love the contrast between the verses and the chorus. I love the image of the Florence floating through the water: “A thousand miles down to the seabed.” Just a really sweet song.

7. Heavy In Your Arms.

Album: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2010).

The keys in this… Wow. This is such a dark song. The lyrics are compelling. It speaks of a lover drowning her. Love the pounding drums in the chorus. Love the line “This will be my last confession, ‘I Love You’ never felt like any blessing.”

6. Over The Love.

Album: The Great Gatsby: Music from Baz Luhrmann’s Film (2013).

Inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925), this song speaks of love lost and drunkenness. Florence’s vocals are really dynamic here. In the outro, I think it’s the highest I’ve ever heard her go. She’s almost wailing but it’s beautiful. A masterpiece.

5. Dog Days Are Over.

Album: Lungs (2009).

A classic F+TM song. What would this list be without it. I really good song to go wild and dance to. Great harp and percussion. Love that chorus. What can I say? Just a fun song! And anyone that’s heard it live knows how amazing it is.

4. Shake It Out.

Album: Ceremonials (2011).

My hangover song. Great organ and drums in this song. I love the lyrics in this. They speak about moving on from your past mistakes. Lyrically, it’s one of F+TM’s best. Really love the line: “I am done with my graceless heart, so tonight I’m going to cut it out and then restart.”

3. Which Witch (Demo).

Album: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015).

This is one MONSTER of a song. It’s so full throttle. It doesn’t hold back. The lyrics just hit you: “Who’s a heretic now” & “I’m miles away, he’s on my mind. I’m getting tired of crawling all the way.” The instrumentation is so powerful. The keys are up to 100%, the drums are pounding, and that brass section… Jesus, and Florence’s vocals fly all over the place. And that brass solo! Just a wicked song.

2. How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.

Album: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015).

I don’t say this lightly, but I honestly believe that this song is F+TM’s magnum opus. I has everything. The brass just does it for me. It’s so superb. The lyrics are amazing. It’s like Florence is reaching towards the sky and enveloping the universe. I love the line “Meanwhile a man was falling from space.” Great beat, guitar, strings, brass, everything! And that brass outro, seriously. It’s one of the most impressive songs I’ve ever heard. Great movements of sound throughout. It’s the best song they’ve ever written, and it almost made it to the no. 1 spot on this list. I would say that they’re both tied but personally the next song does it for me just that little bit more!

1. Only If For A Night.

Album: Ceremonials (2011).

This is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. It starts off with a harp solo followed by keys and Florence’s vocals. The instruments are top notch here. From the delicate sections to the thunderous chorus. There’s great contrast. The chorus has pounding drums and keys. Florence’s voice really soars in places while fluttering in other places. Just a really beautiful track. Love the line: “Dancing on tiptoes, my own secret ceremonials” (referencing the album title). The lyrics and melodies just create this vivid imagery. This song also reminds me of Christmas for some reason. I think it’s because there are these church bells throughout the song. And of course, we have a beautiful harp and key outro to finish my favourite Florence + The Machine song ever.


4 comments on “Top 20 Florence + The Machine Songs

  1. Ayunda says:

    I love Only If For A Night too, but my favourite is probably Howl and Never Let Me Go ❤

  2. Loved this countdown, some great choices on here. We are definitely in agreement about How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.

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