The band that would become Florence + the Machine started in 2006 when friends Florence Welch and Isabella Summers began writing and performing music together at clubs throughout London. Initially the two performed under the name Florence Robot/Isa Machine before becoming simply Florence + the Machine. The name stuck even after Summers stopped performing with the group for a period, with “The Machine” now referring to an eclectic, evolving group of musicians that would provide backing music for Welch's urgent, soaring vocal performances. The sound and style of Florence + the Machine has been described by Welch herself as being akin to a very overwhelming journey--like a sharp fall from a great height up--and touches on genres such as Soul, Indie Rock, Baroque Pop, Gothic Rock and Punk, and often all while channeling elements of the Experimental Art Rock aesthetic. While the studio recordings offer a tapestry of sounds ranging from simple bells to murky electronic abnormalities, the live concert usually consists of a 7-piece band featuring guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, harp, and piano, among other instruments. The band's 2009 debut album Lungs was a critical and commercial success, reaching #1 on the UK Album Charts and winning best album at the 2010 BRIT Awards. In May of 2008, Florence + the Machine toured Europe with the band MGMT, and also opened for U2 during their 2010 North American Tour. The band continues to tour regularly, drawing record crowds at the Glastonbury Festival and Australia's "Splendour in the Grass" music festival.
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