Bono and U2 may have named their last two records after William Blake poems, but Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine got to actually read Blake’s poetry and have it used as the soundtrack for a Gucci fashion show last year. That’s just a way of letting you know that Welch means business when it comes to themes of beauty, love, perception, faith, fear, and nature.
It’s helpful that Welch has a voice that is powerful and expressive, capable of going from a fierce declamatory mode to a vulnerable delicacy. Her instrument matches the scope and ambition of her artistry.
London-based Florence + the Machine make music that can be placed next to Lorde, Annie Lennox, Feist, and Kate Bush. It’s strong, fearless and emotionally intelligent. She’s not afraid of posing big questions in pop songs.
You may have heard the band’s powerful anthemic single “Dog Days Are Over” from their 2009 debut “Lungs.” The more recent single “Hunger,” from the band’s 2018 record “High As Hope,” boldly addresses Welch’s teenage eating disorder.
Welch is a fashion icon, looking a little like the subject of an ornate and flowery pre-Raphaelite painting, which might explain the Gucci connection. The music and imagery blend into something otherworldly and captivating.
Florence + the Machine perform at Mohegan Sun Arena, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville, on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $60 to $94. 860-226-7711 and mohegansun.com.