With How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful coming within the next two months, the Florence + the Machine hype train is in full swing. Fans have been given time to adjust to the shift from grand folk arrangements and baroque pop to something new. Now that we’re all a little more comfortable with it, Ship To Wreck has come to surprise us all over again.
Rather than copying the build-up and payoff of What Kind Of Man or smart subtlety of St Jude, Ship To Wreck throws these concepts out the window and starts on its highest note. The song is a full-tilt whirl of guitars, drums and additional percussion, keeping a consistent pace throughout the song with only a slight dip with each chorus. There’s an unmistakable Fleetwood Mac influence in the song, and it suits Florence’s vocal abilities and lyrics perfectly.
It almost feels light-hearted compared to its predecessors, using this to contradict the lyrics, which chronicle her own self-destruction: And oh my love remind me/What was it that I said?/I can’t help but pull the earth around me/To make my bed. By the time she reaches the chorus—Did I dream too much?/Am I losing touch?/Did I build a ship to wreck?—and begins to belt the title at the top of her lungs, the urgency of the song and the thought process behind it really starts to make sense.
Of the songs to come from the album so far, this is the most exciting, even if it’s not the strongest. Now that fans are used to the change in artistic direction, the real scope and nature of these latest singles is becoming apparent. It’s also reassuring to see the level of comfort and ability in this new direction rather than sticking to the familiar territory of Lungs and Ceremonials. Ship To Wreck has made it even more obvious that How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is really something to get excited about.