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Florence(And The Machine) talk "religion."


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#1 Tim K

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 04:46 PM

Came across this little blurb about Florence Welch's(of Florence And The Machine) fascination with exorcisms, demons, and religion. But yet she says, "I'm not a religious person."

"Everyone – the whole band – gets dressed for work, puts on their big robe, and comes down to the studio. I love seances, witchcraft, heaven and hell, voodoo, gospel, possession, demons, exorcism and all that stuff. I'm not a religious person. Sex, violence, love, death, are the topics that I'm constantly wrestling with, it's all connected back to religion."


A fascination with "religion" and some of the things she mentions(exorcisms, voodoo, "gospel") aren't uncommon in music. But I thought it was interesting how she includes witchcraft, gospel, and voodoo all together as if there's no difference between any of them. A lot of modern society seems to have this strange view of religion, not to where it's a genuine interest, but are more like kids who have come across the dead carcass of an unknown animal in the woods behind their neighborhood -- giggling and poking at it with a stick. Thought some of you might find it interesting.

http://www.nme.com/n...e-machine/58020

#2 Thom Wade

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 08:39 AM

A fascination with "religion" and some of the things she mentions(exorcisms, voodoo, "gospel") aren't uncommon in music. But I thought it was interesting how she includes witchcraft, gospel, and voodoo all together as if there's no difference between any of them.



I am a little confused as to why someone who is not religious should perceive a significant difference. They are all religions, one not truer than the other to those outside any of those belief systems.

#3 Lauren Wilford

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 04:23 PM

This is really interesting. I kind of thought the gothic themes of "Lungs" were just sort of this persona/stylistic choice, like she was fashioning herself in a Bronte novel or something. The epic scope/sound of that album is what made it really resonate with me-- like, wow, this is an artist that gets that life is a big deal. But she really does kind of put it all into a big, dark pot full of meaning, love as witchcraft, desire as religion. "Rabbit Heart" seems to frame a loss of virginity like a ritual sacrifice. Creepy, but what a sound it makes! Similarly, the way she places her troubling lust inside a cathedral in the video for "Drumming Song" made me wonder if she was making some kind of sexual-spiritual comment, but really I tend to think she just mashes it all together for maximum impact.

Is pop music about a big, dark jumble of themes better or worse than vacuous pop music?

#4 Tim K

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 05:51 PM


A fascination with "religion" and some of the things she mentions(exorcisms, voodoo, "gospel") aren't uncommon in music. But I thought it was interesting how she includes witchcraft, gospel, and voodoo all together as if there's no difference between any of them.



I am a little confused as to why someone who is not religious should perceive a significant difference. They are all religions, one not truer than the other to those outside any of those belief systems.



Could you clarify this a little further please? Are you saying that someone who's not religious shouldn't be able to know the differences between religions? Or just that they wouldn't want or need to? There are significant differences regardless of whether you believe them to be true or false.

That wasn't really what I found interesting though. I guess it was more of the words she chose to represent religion that I thought were interesting. Not Christianity, Buddhism, etc -- but "gospel," or "voodoo." I mean -- while I realize some forms of "voodoo" still exist, like in the caribbean islands for example, can "voodoo" really be considered an actual religion? What I mean is, Would the people that practice those forms of it refer to their religion as that -- or are there more specific names for it? I'm sure the "voodoo" performed by those in Haiti is different from that performed by someone in Africa.

#5 Greg P

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 06:21 PM

I find significant similarities between some African tribal practices and Pentecostalism, so I get her connection with Haitian Vodou and the "gospel".

And to answer your question, yes, it is very much an active religion in the Caribbean.

Edited by Greg P, 15 July 2011 - 06:23 PM.


#6 Thom Wade

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 08:46 PM

Could you clarify this a little further please? Are you saying that someone who's not religious shouldn't be able to know the differences between religions? Or just that they wouldn't want or need to? There are significant differences regardless of whether you believe them to be true or false.



I guess I am just thinking...sure, they may be aware that each religion has stuff that sets it apart from others...but if you don't subscribe to a religion and just find religion interesting, all religions are "equal" in that sense. So, jumbling them together wouldn't seem that out of play.

When it comes to Voodoo, it has ties to Christianity more so than people realize. Especially in Haiti here it got an infusion of Catholicism after missionaries visited. So that she might make a connection does not surprise me, however misguided one may feel it is to do so.