Florence + the Machine is the recording name of Florence Welch, a singer-songwriter from London, who specializes in dark, gothic songs and a theatrical on-stage persona. At the beginning of 2009, she won The Brits Critics Choice award for most promising newcomer.
This is the fourth single released from Florence's debut album, Lungs. It was written after her label asked her for something more upbeat, but ended up with a chorus about ritual sacrifice. In an interview for Steve Lamacq on his BBC Radio In New Music We Trust show, she explained: "I've been doing all this heavy dark stuff and I just wanted something to express that sort of joyful sort of side to the music. But then again once I started doing that, the lyrics started getting dark again and then it became all about like ritual sacrifice and like who is the lamb and who is the knife? And I think it was just all about me about to jump into the limelight and being in the music industry stuff like that. But it is sort of joyful in a way because its all about giving yourself up and letting it go and you start off being a sort of timid rabbit heart and you have to become courageous and become a lion heart."
This song features Welch's vocal overdubbed with so many harmonies she sounds like a massed choir of one. She confessed to The Independent June 27, 2009: "The guy who mixed it nearly had a nervous breakdown."
The song features some of the melody and lyrics of New York experimental band Gang Gang Dance's track "House Jam." GGD spotted the similarity when they saw its music video and approached Florence's label. Welch agreed their contribution should be acknowledged, claiming that it was an error that they weren't originally included in the credits for Lungs She said: "Yeah that's true, it's no secret. I've spoken about it in interviews before. I'm a massive fan of Gang Gang Dance and it was in homage to them." The New Yorkers are now getting a cut of all publishing royalties from the track.