Tag Archives: Vocal Duo

There’s a Drumming Noise Inside My Head That Starts When You’re Around – Florence & the Machine for Throwback Thursday

Next up in the old Listening to Music Without Understanding It series is this post, on Florence & the Machine. Unlike some of the others, this one deserves at least one update: their album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful had not yet come out, and would be a great introduction to this band. That album is just fantastic, making it 3/3 great albums from this band. Also worth noting, the Deluxe and B-Sides sorts of albums for them are great too; basically, they just make good music.


I’ve recommended a few other bands so far in my series on music, like The Lumineers and The Black Keys. Both of those bands have a simpler sort of sound, from a folk origin like with the former, or from just being two musicians with the latter. So how about a different sort of band?

Florence & the Machine. It sounds even from the name like it’s a large thing. The sort of band where you might expect a song called Cosmic LoveTheirs can be both a large sound, and can focus in and be all about the haunting vocals of the lead singer, Florence Welch. Also, they have a harp.

Florence & the Machine

I thought I would share a bit of the fun of this band, and a few of their songs. The recent news is that they are working on a third studio album, but along with the first two, there are also deluxe editions and B-sides and live albums galore to choose from while you wait – plenty to check out!

Great Lyrics and Intensity

What the songs are about, the lyrics and images and ideas, are part of what is so great. Some songs are full of images, full of ideas and things we would understand. Full of love and emotion and feeling.

Florence_JohnSimm

Okay, and not Doctor Who references. Well, maybe… They are British…

I found that image a while ago on Tumblr, and lost the original provenance from where I found it, but it stuck with me. I love her intensity in the image used – it combines well with the lyrics and the song. I think intensity is a good word – thinking of songs like Kiss With a Fist or Girl With One Eye.

Along with strong images and intense songs, however, they also work with a lot of metaphorical and poetical language. I love it. And, as is fitting with the name of my series, I don’t understand it much at all.

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Vocal Duos in Music – Throwback Thursday

Following up from last week, here’s the next in my “Listening to Music Without Understanding It” series! This one originally sparked some good recommendations, and I’ve found some new ones since. But if you have more recommendations, definitely pass them along!


Recently we went to see The Manhattan Transfer in concert. Not a band I had known, but we took the opportunity to go see some live music! It was a great concert, and they definitely still have their skills.

Early on in the concert, they introduced harmony, and how it works, demonstrating as they added one each to the combination. It made me think about harmony, and groups with multiple singers, and how maybe that was something that there used to be a lot more of – but for a while there wasn’t as much. And I feel like it’s coming back.

I really like bands that have multiple people singing, and am really enjoying some of the groups doing more of this. Not like the boy bands or girl bands, where maybe they each do some singing, just to highlight each of them and show them as a personality – to try to spin off solo careers. No, no. The bands where the point is that there’s more than one singer. And the best, in my opinion, is when a man and a woman are both singing, back and forth.

The Raconteurs

I think the band where I really picked up on this and noticed it, and noticed that I really liked it, was with The Raconteurs. This band was made up of a number of artists pulling together to make a band that only lasted two albums. Most notable were the two lead singers, Jack White – formerly of the White Stripes – and Brendan Benson. These two, before and since, have done quite a bit of music, and I like their solo work. But this was my introduction to both of them.

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