Welch began work on Ceremonials (the follow-up to their 2009 breakout Lungs) more than 18 months ago, and during those early stages, they toyed with the notion of making the new album with the same hitmakers responsible for Lady Gaga and Katy Perry's success. But eventually, as she told the magazine, Welch decided against it because it would be too much of a departure.
"I love Lady Gaga and I love Katy Perry and R&B and rap music. ... I love big, American pop music. ... So the label said, 'Do you want to go over to America to work in that scene?' And I was like, 'Yeah, OK. Maybe I could bring my own take on it,' " she recalled. "It got put in the diary to go out for a week, to start writing the new record. And then the diary got sent to me, and I looked at it and just went, 'No ... I can't do that. This is too weird. I can't just suddenly leave behind everything that made Lungs.' "
Instead, she decided to work with producer Paul Epworth (most recently known for Adele's multi-multi-platinum 21), and yet, sessions kept getting delayed due to Florence's continued success in the U.S., thanks in no small part to her show-stealing performance at the 2010 Video Music Awards. Eventually, with Epworth working on tracks in his London studio and Welch recording vocals in U.S. studios during days off from her tour, the duo finished some 40 tracks, 12 of which made the cut for Ceremonials (a total of 20 will be included on the album's deluxe version, Billboard reports).
"I'm pretty surprised at how prolific I've been, to be honest. When making the first album, I think I wrote a song about every six months," Welch said. "The first album was so much about the vocals carrying it. This time I really wanted to give the music space to breathe and for the band to be able to experiment."
Of course, though she was under the gun to finish the new album, Welch says she never felt pressure -- mostly because she'd already felt it during the making of her first album.
"Nothing could have been harder than making the first record, so I was prepared for the onslaught this time," she said. "There was a huge amount of media scrutiny on me. ... Those conditions of people waiting and waiting, that expectance, everyone talking about you ... those are the conditions that I did my first album in. This one, by comparison, is much easier. I came into it having a much clearer idea of what sound I wanted to make and a much clearer idea of what was going to happen after the record was finished."
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