Following Florence + The Machine’s heavily anticipated return with “King,” Florence Welch and company have made quick work of sharing “Heaven Is Here,” another new single from their as-yet-unannounced forthcoming album. The percussive, ritualistic battlecry of a track arrives with another video directed by Autumn de Wilde and featuring choreography by Ryan Heffington.
Carrying confrontational lyrics and spare instrumentation over from “King,” “Heaven Is Here” sees Welch’s elastic voice provide a substantial amount of the backing track, letting shrieks and grunts dance around handclaps and timpani strikes, all warning whatever stands in the way of what she wants. The accompanying lyrics read more like an incantation than a song, exorcising any demon hiding between the lines: “I went to the water, drank every drop / I’ll turn your sea to a desert.” Despite the aggressive front, Welch gives the impression that the ceremony stemming from her pen won’t be enough to save her. “And every song I wrote / Became an escape rope / Tied around my neck / To pull me up to heaven,” she whispers before the song finishes with an abrupt drum hit that mimics the snap of a neck, perhaps sacrificing her own in order to create.
“‘Heaven Is Here’ was the first song I wrote in lockdown after an extended period of not being able to get to the studio,” Welch said of her writing process for the song. “I wanted to make something monstrous. And this clamor of joy, fury and grief was the first thing that came out. With dance studios also shut, it was my dream to one day create choreography with it. So it’s one of the first pieces of music I have made specifically with contemporary dance in mind.” The video sees Welch bring her original vision to fruition, featuring a group of dancers credited as “Lace Monsters” performing with her.
Check out the video for “Heaven Is Here” below.