The second track of her third album, How Big How Blue How Beautiful, “What Kind of Man” is the first hint at Florence Welch’s newest exploration of love and suffering. After taking a year off from the release of Ceremonials, Welch returns with the same orchestral ambiance and ethereal harmonies, while promising profound, visceral growth since her first album, Lungs.
“What Kind of Man” begins with Welch’s haunting vocals, doubled by a lower synthesized voice that follows her until the sharp transition from layered harmony to the cutting introduction of guitars, drums, brass, and the all important garnish: rock tambourine.
Although Florence + The Machine’s signature harp doesn’t make an appearance in this particular single, Welch’s familiar references to water––evidenced by her previous singles, “Swimming”, “Hurricane Drunk”, “What the Water Gave Me”––find their counterparts in How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful with the opening track, “Ship to Wreck”. Coincidentally, the music video for “What Kind of Man”, features a scene of rebirth in which Welch is (surprise, surprise) submerged in water.
How Big How Blue How Beautiful will be released on June 2nd, but until then, the video––if you like watching as well as listening to Welch’s emotional rage and range––is worth checking out.