Top 10 Florence And The Machine Songs



Top 10 Florence And The Machine Songs

VOICE OVER: Matt Campbell
Script by Laura Keating

Strap on your headphones and lower the lights. Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 Florence + The Machine Songs.

For this list, we've chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist's fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs. However, we'll only be looking at original songs. So, if there are covers you've got the love for, then apologies upfront; you won't find them here.

Special thanks to our user  Alex Guzman for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at


Top 10 Florence And The Machines Songs

Strap on your headphones and lower the lights. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Florence + The Machine Songs.

For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs. However, we’ll only be looking at original songs. So, if there are covers you’ve got the love for, then apologies upfront; you won’t find them here.

#10: “Spectrum (Say My Name)”
Ceremonials (2011)

Debuted live in 2011, and released as a single the following year, this orchestral pop hit became The Machines’ most successful single to that point in the United Kingdom, peaking at number one on the UK Singles Chart. Although Florence Welch is frequently described as an indie-pop singer, there’s no denying her natural ear for downtempo dance beats, for which there is no better example than “Spectrum.” Alternating between sensual croons and powerful cries, this song lives up to its name, providing the listener with the full, impressive spectrum of Welch’s voice. What’s more, it was remixed as a more uptempo dance track by Scottish DJ/Producer Calvin Harris, further proving the band’s range.

#9: “No Light, No Light”
Ceremonials (2011)

Opening with dramatic tribal drums, this song ultimately softens into a delicate interlude, before a crescendo leads us into its vast, choir-backed chorus. Lyrically more grounded than the usual neo-gothic Welch-ian fare of demons and churches, “No Light, No Light” appeals to a broader audience thanks to its relatable descriptions of love and loss. Praised by critics, this pounding track earned a spot on several year-end best singles lists. That’s probably because its message is so universal: the lovers’ quarrel presented in the song, while at times overpowering and church-like in its rapturous pleas for salvation and forgiveness, is immediately understood by anyone who’s ever found themselves in the dark at the end of a relationship.

#8: “What Kind of Man”
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015)

From the band’s third studio album, “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful,” this song begins with a haunting opening, before smashing into an angry, jagged guitar riff early on. It doesn’t let go from there, layering in horns, backing vocals, and clapping. According to Welch herself, this song signifies a new guitar-heavy direction for the band. This more straightforward rock song peaked at #37 on the UK Singles Chart, but reached number eight on the Billboard Alternative Songs Chart in the United States, tying with two of the band’s other highest-peaking songs in America, and proving that fans of The Machine approved of this change in tone.

#7: “Hunger”
High as Hope (2018)

This building track from the band’s 2018 album High as Hope features some of the most personal lyrics ever put to paper by Welch and co. Reflecting on her troubled past with substance abuse and the hardships of her younger years, Florence’s vocals soar over harmonies that echo the chorus’ collective “we all have a hunger”. Accompanied by a music video that accurately fits the poetic nature of the song’s lyrics and acting as the picture perfect tease to the album ahead of it, you could say our hunger is for more Florence + the Machine. 

#6: “Cosmic Love”
Lungs (2009)

According to Welch, this starry song was apparently written during the throes of a blazing hangover. Well, that’s an intergalactic feat if ever we’ve heard one! Built atop a pounding drum base and a softly effervescent harp melody, Cosmic Love” sees Welch use the light instrumentation to showcase her otherworldly voice with a level of control that is nothing short of mesmerizing. While it never ranked very highly on the charts in the UK, it did very well in Ireland, earned platinum certification in the U.S., and critically it is considered one of the finest songs on the Lungs album.

#5: “Ship to Wreck”
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015)

Like “What Kind of Man,” this song exhibits a decidedly more folk-rock feel than most of the previous efforts from The Machine. More seamlessly blending Welch’s vocals with the instrumentals, this catchy song was made radio-ready, and it definitely earned a lot of attention upon its release in 2015. “Ship to Wreck” broke onto the charts of over a dozen countries, and reached number one on Billboard’s Adult Alternate Songs chart in the U.S. What’s more, it was nominated for Best Rock Video at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, AND Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2016 Grammys. Maybe it’s just us, but it looks like this ship is sailing fine.

#4: “Never Let Me Go”
Ceremonials (2011)

This hymnal, R&B ballad draws on the water imagery that dominates much of Welch’s work. Musically, the cold echoes of the melody evoke a sense of drifting, while thematically the song’s lyrics draw parallels between water and redemption, with the depths of the ocean becoming the vaulted chambers of a cathedral and a place of spiritual rejuvenation. The song was well received by critics everywhere thanks its sublime composition and sweeping refrain. Perhaps not coincidentally, the song was most successful in the heart of Oceania itself, Australia, where it climbed to the number three spot on the Australian Singles Chart in four weeks and was eventually QUADRUPLE platinum-certified in sales.

#3: “What the Water Gave Me”
Ceremonials (2011)

Drawing its title from the Frida Kahlo painting of the same name, and also inspired by Virginia Woolf, this sweeping pop/soul/rock ballad attempts to blend the ordinary with the extraordinary – much as these great artists did. Ultimately, it’s a song about being overwhelmed, and musically it delivers this message, gradually building on the trickling intro until the full-force of the narrative is unleashed in a tidal wave of sound. While it failed to break into the top tens of many charts, critics were still blown away by the song, giving it positive reviews pretty much across the board. Most often described as epic because of its massive and almost mythical proportions, this song really did overwhelm reviewers.

#2: “Dog Days Are Over”
Lungs (2009)

One of the band’s most recognizable tracks, this song introduced the world to Florence Welch’s unstoppable voice. If you want a crash-course in everything that makes us love The Machine, look no further: a delicate intro, deafening chorus, catchy riffs, complex composition, layered instruments, poetic lyrics – this song has it all. Although it had a shaky debut, once the song was featured in TV ads for “Slumdog Millionaire” and the “Eat, Pray, Love” theatrical trailer, people started to take notice of the bouncy tune. It was then re-released in the UK in 2010, and when all was said and done it had gone platinum in the UK, double platinum in Australia, and quadruple platinum in the U.S., selling 1.8 million digital downloads in America alone.

Before we reveal our number one pick, here are some honorable mentions:
- “Delilah”
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015)

- “St. Jude”
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015)

-      "Sky Full of Song"
High as Hope (2018)

#1: “Shake It Out”
Ceremonials (2011)

Not to be confused with a similarly named Taylor Swift song; this power-anthem is a pure, Florence Welch-ian tour de force. Opening with an evocative pipe organ chord and a remorseful reflection on past mistakes, the somber tone is quickly crushed under heart-thumping percussion as the song lifts confidently upwards. “Shake it Out” has all the dark romantic imagery that is classic Florence + The Machine: devils and ghouls; themes of life, death and renewal; and a big, unflinching refrain. Praised by critics and adored by fans, this anthem of triumph climbed charts in over a dozen countries, won the 2012 NME Award for Best Track, and was nominated for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2013 Grammy Awards.