[artist id="3081382"]Florence Welch[/artist] has seen better days. After a rather long night in New York City — where she was in town to perform at the Vice-sponsored Creator’s Project, as well as promote her upcoming album, Ceremonials — she’s a bit worse for wear. And honestly, she thinks the entire world might spin off its axis any minute now.
“I’m so bad at dealing with hangovers. I feel like it’s the end of the world, ‘This is basically it for me, nothing is going to be good ever again,’ ” she sighed. “And the poor people around me are like, ‘Florence, it’s fine.’ And I’m, ‘It’s not fine, nothing will ever be fine!’ ”
Then again, her current state is somewhat appropriate, given that she’s talking about the Ceremonials single “Shake It Out,” a rousing, revelatory song that also just so happens to have been written under similarly skull-splitting circumstances.
“I think I came to the studio with a bit of a hangover, and it was one of those strange days where you’re not really sure where a song comes from,” she explained. “[Producer] Paul [Epwoth] just had these chords on the organ, and they sounded optimistic and sad at the same time. And I was thinking of regrets, like, you know when you feel like you’re stuck in yourself, you keep repeating certain patterns of behavior, and you kind of want to cut out that part of you and restart yourself.
“So this song was kind of like, ‘Shake yourself out of it, things will be OK,’ ” she continued. “[Because] sometimes I have to write songs for myself, reminding me to let it go. But then, the end refrain of ‘What the hell’ is really important as well, because you’ll dance with the devil again at some point, and maybe it will be fun. I’ve heard he does a really good foxtrot.”
And in keeping with that last point, Florence (and her Machine) made it a priority to get devilish with the “Shake It Out” video, which was shot in the grandiose Eltham Palace and was, by all accounts, a pretty excellent party — one that, like most of Ceremonials, seemed to span space and time.
“We were kind of going for a sort of ‘Gatsby at West Egg’-style house party but with maybe slightly ritualistic and sort of satanic undertones and séances,” she laughed. “That was such a fun video to shoot, for me especially, because I had all my friends down there, and they all came and we all got to dress up and do a casual séance in this beautiful art-deco mansion. It’s basically a party house; there’s one room which was purely just for cutting flowers. My best friend is sitting with me in the tree at the end of the video, and we just got to hang out in a tree for a while. It was really fun.”