Austin City Limits - Florence + The Machine / Lykke Li
Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 p.m.
Described by The Times as “the most peculiar and most highly acclaimed female singer of the moment,” “the latest in a line of great English pop eccentrics” and featured on the cover of Spin Magazine’s 2010 Artist of the Year issue, Florence Welsh is, simply put, one of the biggest, boldest rising stars of the decade. Now, Florence & The Machine make their Austin City Limits debut.
Compared to the likes of Kate Bush and Sinead O’Connor, the forward-thinking London native is breaking the pop music mold by crossing styles as diverse as art rock, soul and baroque pop. Growing up in southeast London, Welch found her niche at an early age after deciding to drop out of school to pursue her music. She began collaborating with her friends under various monikers before committing to the project that would make her famous. Her hauntingly soothing yet sweet vocal style captured the attention of audiences across the U.K. shortly before being paired with a backing band, or rather, her “Machine.”
Her 2009 debut album, Lungs, received national acclaim and meteorically dominated the U.K. album charts. BBC Radio praised the album‘s exceptional style, claiming “with vocals building from breathy almost-nothings to soaring, arching crescendos and the accompanying harps, strings, hopes and dreams, this album takes you somewhere you’ll never want to come back from.”
Infused with eclectic instrumentals and haunting themes, Lungs soon became one of the top best-selling albums of 2009 and 2010. It single-handedly contributed to her sudden spike in popularity that lead to her performing on the Oscars as well her nomination for Best New Artist at the 53rd Grammy Awards. The Onion AV Club wrote Lungs “manages to be grandiose, relatable, and incessantly catchy all at the same time.”
Distinguished by her light-hearted, electro-pop sound, indie song- stress Lykke Li has charmed the ears of music lovers everywhere with her youthful voice and eclectic style. Her songs have been described as “powdered sugar pop” that are creatively combined with dark undertones. She, too, makes her Austin City Limits debut.
Lykke Li was born in Sweden, and grew up living in different countries all around the world. With a passion for music and adventure, she moved to New York at the young age of 19 to begin working on her music career. She found inspiration in music super-stars such as Madonna and Michael Jackson, and desired to create a pop sound unlike anyone else. In part, her career was jump started by fellow musician, Bjorn Yttling (of well-known group Peter Bjorn and John), who produced her first record in 2008. Despite the fact that it was her first record, Youth Novels, immediately became a sensation, and received praise from critics all around. “It is a twinkle-toed debut that dares to suggest what others can only make tediously plain, and leaves us in the rarely-enjoyed position of actually wanting more” (Drowned in Sound). After its success in quickly becoming a hit indie record, Li decided to continue with writing and creating music.
In 2011, she released her second album, Wounded Rhymes, which was hailed as, “a dark record, borne of lost love and youthful frustrations… A seriously heavy and seriously excellent album” (Pop Matters).
Lykke Li’s first two releases not only illustrate her raw talent as an artist, but also display that we have only begun to see the unique music style she is capable of developing. “All of her words seem to be vitally important to all of her life stories, and the sounds supporting that venture are anything but dispensable” (Adequacy).