Dance Fever, the fifth album from Florence + the Machine, is set for release May 13. Single “My Love” debuts today alongside a video by acclaimed director Autumn de Wilde. Listen here, watch here and pre-order/pre-save the album here.
Dance Fever was recorded in London over the course of the pandemic in anticipation of the world’s reopening. It conjures up what Florence missed most in the midst of lockdown—clubs, dancing at festivals, being in the whirl of movement and togetherness—and the hope of reunions to come.
Just before the pandemic Florence had become fascinated by choreomania, a Renaissance phenomenon in which groups of people—sometimes thousands—danced wildly to the point of exhaustion, collapse and death. The imagery resonated with Florence, who had been touring nonstop for more than a decade, and in lockdown felt oddly prescient.
The image and concept of dance, and choreomania, remained central as Florence wove her own experiences of dance—a discipline she turned to in the early days of sobriety—with the folkloric elements of a moral panic from the Middle Ages. In recent times of torpor and confinement, dance offered propulsion, energy and a way of looking at music more choreographically.
Starting, as ever, armed with a notebook of poems and ideas, Florence had just arrived to New York in March 2020 to begin recording when Covid-19 forced a retreat to London. Holed up at home, the songs began to transform, with nods to dance, folk, ‘70s Iggy Pop, longing-for-the-road folk tracks a la Lucinda Williams or Emmylou Harris and more, ultimately arriving somewhere that Florence describes as “Nick Cave at the club.” Lyrically, she took inspiration from the tragic heroines of pre-Raphaelite art, the gothic fiction of Carmen Maria Machado and Julia Armfield, the visceral wave of folk horror film from The Wicker Man and The Witch to Midsommar.
Dance Fever is an album that sees Florence at the peak of her powers, coming into a fully realized self-knowledge, poking sly fun at her own self-created persona, playing with ideas of identity, masculinity and femininity, redemption and celebration.
“My Love” follows the recently released “King” and “Heaven is Here,” both of which arrived alongside videos by de Wilde choreographed by Ryan Heffington. Dance Fever was produced by Florence, Jack Antonoff and Dave Bayley of Glass Animals.