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Florence + the Machine's new album 'Ceremonials' - First listen

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Florence and the Machine: 'Ceremonials'
Earlier this week, Digital Spy was invited to the upstairs of a trendy East London pub to listen to Florence + the Machine's new album Ceremonials.

Before getting down to business, we were greeted with free booze and - best of all - Florence-themed cupcakes (with edible cases, natch) as a room full of friends, family, production crew and press poured in to listen to the culmination of two years' work by the collective and the LP's executive producer Paul Epworth.

Thankfully, the freebies weren't to disguise the album's shortcomings, as Flo's much-anticipated follow-up continues down the kooky mythology and quirky, ethereal path of Lungs, albeit on a much wider and more ambitious scale.

Read our first impressions on six tracks of one of this year's most exciting releases below:

'Only If For A Night'
Clattering drums and dramatic strings immediately set the tone on the album's opening track, which tells the story of a dream she had about a girl from school. "It was strange and so surreal that a ghost should be so practical," she admits in a spooky, haunting tone.

'Shake It Out'
The album's trailer single appeared online earlier this week, and it serves as a perfect introduction to the LP. Earthy drums are dressed with bells and tambourines before Flo chants "Shake it out, shake it out, ooh-waaoah!" on the song's anthemic and dangerously addictive chorus. That you can imagine hearing it on Glee as much as NME Radio is enough to already deem this a future classic.

Listen to 'Shake It Out' below:



'Never Let Me Go'
"Looking up from underneath I feel the light from the sea," she warns on this Evanescence-meets-Enya ballad. Big enough to bring a stadium audience to its knees, it's more structured and less hectic than anything on her debut, but still remains packed with eccentricities.

'No Light, No Light'
In short, it sounds like 'Dog Days Are Over'. "You were the space in my bed... you are the martyr," she wails on a melody jam-packed with a catalogue of instruments - including a return of the harp - that gradually grow louder and louder.

Florence and the Machine: 'Shake It Out'
'Spectrum'
Set against a melody that twizzles like a rhythmic gymnast's ribbon stick, Florence repeats "say my name" over a drum pattern that would impress Phil Collins, before a mesmerising breakdown of strings ensues.

'Leave My Body'
"I don't want no future/ I don't need no past/ History keeps pulling me down," she muses on this beefy midtempo number. Similar to Coldplay's 'Paradise', it's a beautiful, sway-friendly, lighters-in-the-air affair.

Ceremonials is released on October 31. Are you excited about Florence + the Machine's new album? Leave your comments in the box below:

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