On Florence + The Machine’s recent fourth album, High As Hope, frontwoman Florence Welch earned her first-ever production credit with the English rock group. And she’s already turning her attention to a new project: her first book, Useless Magic: Lyrics and Poetry, out July 10. Filled with 288 pages of unreleased poems and illustrations plucked from the 31-year-old’s graph-paper journals, the collection offers rare insight into how a Florence + The Machine song comes to be.
“I never thought that I would say these things to anybody,” said Welch of her new lyrics during a Brooklyn performance in May. Those lyrics are now detailed within four sections of Useless Magic — one for each of the band’s four albums.
Welch spent time in New York while writing some of the group’s latest LP. “I’ve fallen out of a lot of New York taxis,” she said at the May show in Brooklyn, “and left my phone in a lot of New York taxis.” But the city also provided inspiration, including a poem titled “New York Poem (For Polly),” which spawned the would-be album title High As Hope.
The right-hand page shows early lyrics from what became the song “June,” on which Welch recalls waking up in Chicago and sings of hiding out in a hotel room.
This article originally appeared in the June 30 issue of Streets Talkin.