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Florence + The Machine share cinematic new song ‘Mermaids’

The new single is from the ‘Dance Fever universe’

By Charlotte Krol

Florence + the Machine’s Florence Welch poses for Rolling Stone UK
Florence + the Machine’s Florence Welch poses for Rolling Stone UK (Picture: Ruth Ossai)

Florence + The Machine have released ‘Mermaids’, a new single that the band have said is from the “Dance Fever universe”.

The cinematic song, produced by Glass Animals‘ Dave Bayley, arrived today (21 April) and hears Florence + The Machine singer Florence Welch recall “falling through these streets” and “shining under lights from shitty clubs and doing shitty drugs”. It’s seemingly a nod to Welch’s past issues with alcohol abuse.

Other lyrics in the song detail mermaids with “sharp teeth” who appear late at night to drink, dance and “sacrifice a human heart”, drawing parallels to the themes explored in Welch’s fifth album Dance Fever .

The 2022 album takes its name from a phenomenon known as choreomania, where between the 14th and 17th century groups of people danced erratically – sometimes for stress relief.

“The summation of the record is probably that line, ‘And when I’m dancing, I’m free,’” Welch told Rolling Stone UK in last May’s cover story. “It’s relentless, and then I’ll dance and it will be like, ‘Oh my GOD, it went away!’ And it’s about wanting to give other people that feeling, too.”

‘Mermaids’ comes after several weeks of the band teasing new music on social media. A reel posted on 6 April showed clips from mermaid-themed horror films, with the caption: “A new song is coming to the Dance Fever universe.”

In 2021 Welch celebrated seven years of sobriety with a post on social media, which told fans struggling with addiction not to “give up”.

“I am 7 years sober today. I send my love and support to anyone who is struggling. If you are feeling shaky around ED issues, drugs or alcohol, I completely understand,” she wrote. “The desire to disassociate is so strong. But please don’t give up. We are going to need you on the other side.”

Florence + the Machine’s Florence Welch poses for Rolling Stone UK
Florence + the Machine’s Florence Welch poses for Rolling Stone UK (Picture: Ruth Ossai)

In her cover story Welch said that she makes sense of the world by turning it “into myth and fable”.

She said that she’s aware that it’s something people do to her too: her fans, the media, and even new romances.

“I think a lot of people think, ‘Florence + the Machine! She’s just gonna be lounging around in silky stuff.’ No, I’m gonna be a ball of anxiety, with the TV on, constantly just trying to keep out the bad thoughts,” she said.

“It’s not gonna be fun and glamorous, I promise – there’s the stage, and then there’s the very agoraphobic person who needs just to be in the house, you know, especially since I stopped drinking. I am very much a homebody. So, I think people come on board thinking it’s gonna be really fun and exciting, but it’s that sense of like, ‘Oh, the public will get the good bits.’ You won’t. You’ll get the tears.”

Meanwhile, in other news, Florence + The Machine paired up with Ethel Cain in December for a new live rendition of ‘Morning Elvis’, the last track on Dance Fever.