WORTH A LOOK?: ****
TRACKLIST: King; Free; Choreomania; Back In Town; Girls Against God; Dream Girl Evil; Prayer Factory; Cassandra; Heaven Is Here; Daffodil; My Love; Restraint; The Bomb; Morning Elvis
Choreomania is a social phenomena that took place on mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries where sometimes thousands of people would gather and dance into a frenzy that would end through exhaustion or injury.
- Read on for reasons including how to see F+TM on tour later this year
The titular Dance Fever then is a reference to a time where inexplicable theories to explain what was happening included an attempt to escape the poverty people were living in, to ease stress or a mass psychogenic illness in which symptoms with no known physical cause were observed to effect a group as a form of social influence.
Musicians accompanied the dancers in an attempt to heal the mania although this sometimes backfired encouraging more people to join in.
It’s a fascinating history lesson and backdrop for an album that attempts to evoke Iggy Pop and provide a collection aimed at enjoying in clubs, live and through dancing at festivals.
It’s release comes at a difficult time for the band with a new record label, Polydor, after last album 2018’s introspective, downbeat and brooding High As Hope, was the weakest selling album of the 4 they had so far released.
Key track and 4th single Free is the perfect vehicle by which F+TM can lose themselves in a song which starts like Kim Wilde’s Kids In America and rejoices in the sentiment: ‘When I’m dancing, for a moment, I’m Free.’
3rd single My Love is also uptempo, celebratory but questioning about gender: ‘Don’t tell me where to put My Love.’
Debut single King is suitably bold in claiming a title using associated with men as our heroine’s own with big decisions to make: ‘We argue how much is art really worth? … I need my golden crown of sorrow … I am no mother, I am no bride, I am King.’
Co-writer Jack Antonoff has won 6 Grammys, and worked with Taylor Swift, St Vincent, Lorde and Lana del Rey.
We know from reading the programme of the Olivier Award-winning Cabaret at the Playhouse Theatre in London’s West End that its director, Rebecca Frecknall, is to work with Florence Welch on a re-imagining of The Great Gatsby.
We can’t wait for that but in the meantime am very much looking forward to catching Welch and her band on the live tour to accompany this fine album.