"What the Water Gave Me

There are megawatts of raw power contained within Florence Welch's larynx, and she wrings out every last one on the first tune from her forthcoming second album. She takes her sweet time getting there, though. The track opens softly, with Welch cooing slightly spooky pastoral poetry ("Time, it took us to where the water was"). But soon enough, she's out-and-out howling about learning to let go after a failed relationship, ancient Greek giants and possibly drowning herself. Her veiled incantations feel like the stuff of myth, even if it's not entirely clear how the images relate to one another. Producer Paul Epworth expertly amps the drama, surrounding Welch with roiling organ chords, deep bass rumblings and looming choral harmonies as the song builds. It's a late-summer storm with that voice shining through the thunderheads

Listen to "What the Water Gave Me":

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From The Archives Issue 1139: September 15, 2011
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