Album: Dance Fever (2022)
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Songfacts®:

  • Written by Florence Welch with Jack Antonoff just before the first COVID lockdown, this song is about the Florence + the Machine frontwoman's issues with anxiety.

    Sometimes I wonder if I should be medicated
    If I would feel better just lightly sedated
    The feeling comes so fast and I cannot control it
    I'm on fire, but I'm trying not to show it


    Throughout 2019, Welch wrestled with mental health issues. "I was trying to understand how, even when I was in a more stable place, I was still struggling with anxiety and panic attacks," she told Apple Music.
  • On the chorus, Welch reveals the medicine for her ills.

    But I hear the music, I feel the beat
    And for a moment, when I'm dancing, I am free


    When Welch dances, performs, or makes something, that's when her anxiety disappears. "Throughout my day, there are intrusive thoughts that will come and knock me down or pick me up for a second and put me down," she said. "But if I can dance and sing and move, it's as if I can dance with it for a second, rather than have it pulling me back and forth."
  • Welch and Antonoff co-produced "Free" alongside Glass Animals' lead singer Dave Bayley. The musicians are:

    Jack Antonoff: acoustic and electric guitar, bass, drums, percussion, piano, organ, Mellotron, bells
    Florence Welch: percussion, piano
    Tom Moth: harp
    Bobby Hawk: violin
    Eric Byers: cello
  • Florence + the Machine debuted the song live during their intimate gig at Newcastle's O2 City Hall on April 15, 2022. The group also gave the Dance Fever tracks "King," "Heaven Is Here," "My Love," and "Girls Against God" their first concert outings at the same show.
  • Photographer and video director Autumn de Wilde directed the music video, which features English actor Bill Nighy as Welch's anxiety shadow. Filmed in Kyiv, Ukraine, on November 18, 2021, it follows the visuals for "King," "Heaven Is Here," and "My Love," which were also shot in the Ukrainian capital.

    Bill Nighy is best known in the music world for playing rock and roll legend Billy Mack in Love Actually. "Christmas is All Around," the song he performs in the 2003 British romantic comedy movie, is a clear parody of Wet Wet Wet's "Love Is All Around."

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