What Kind Of Man

Album: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015)
Charted: 37 88

Songfacts®:

  • This song finds a frustrated Florence Welch singing of a wishy-washy man. "You were on the other side, like always, wondering what to do with life," she sings to her "holy fool" of a lover. Welch wrote the track with singer-songwriter Kip Harpoon, a songwriter she collaborated with on her 2011 hit "Shake It Out." His other credits include Calvin Harris' "Sweet Nothing" and Jessie Ware's "Wildest Moments."
  • The song finds Florence Welch moving into classic rock territory. She said the tune along with much of the rest of the album represents a new guitar-driven sound for her. "It's got very loud guitars and that was very fun to record actually," Welch said. "Trying to get exactly the right tone of guitar - I never realised how complicated that is."

    "It took us forever," she added. "Every day there'd be a different guitar sound. We ended up layering with three different guitar sounds, one on top of the other, in order to create this one song."
  • This is one of several tracks that Welch wrote for How Big... at Chateau Marmont, which can be found on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. Throughout the years, the hotel has gained recognition as a popular location for rock stars and actors - John Belushi, for instance, died of a drug overdose in one of its garden bungalows. She told NME: "LA is a total dreamland and it played a big part in this record. There is definitely a portal to the underworld. There are two if you're not careful."
  • The video is a short film, that starts with Florence Welch and a man talking about how suffering brings people closer together as they drive down a country road. We see their tumultuous relationship unfold as scenes of the couple driving at various points in their time together are mixed with examples of Welch involved in other unhealthy affairs. "Suppose if you've been through something catastrophic, like a storm or an earthquake together, something horrendous… it'd bring you together. But what if they are creating disaster within themselves?" asks Welch in the clip.
  • The clip was inspired by Florence Welch's own experience of a toxic relationship. "For that video, we were thinking about ideas of purgatory and Dante's Inferno," she told Billboard magazine. "Because I was in this purgatory with this man. That push and pull thing where you are just stuck and you're like, 'Why do we keep doing this to each other?'"

    "It's an aggressive song, but I can see my own part in the whole process," Welch added. "I was just as crazy as he was. People think the men in the video represent my ex-boyfriends, but they really represent a lot of different forces that weren't working for me."

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