Florence Welch has finally returned! In her first proper release since 2018 (she last released a song for the Cruella film in 2021 and an outtake in 2020), Florence + the Machine unveiled “King” on Wednesday.
The “King” video was directed by Autumn de Wilde. The song reflects on Florence Welch’s femininity and her recent subverting of expectations as a woman in music. She triggers instant chills by powerfully declaring: “I am no mother / I am no bride / I am king.”
“As an artist, I never actually thought about my gender that much,” Welch said. “I just got on with it. I was as good as the men and I just went out there and matched them every time. But now, thinking about being a woman in my 30s and the future, I suddenly feel this tearing of my identity and my desires. That to be a performer, but also to want a family might not be as simple for me as it is for my male counterparts. I had modelled myself almost exclusively on male performers, and for the first time I felt a wall come down between me and my idols as I have to make decisions they did not.”
Welch released her fourth studio album, High As Hope, in June 2018.