Lilian Min
May 20, 2015 12:27 pm

Florence Welch’s voice is one of the safest bets in music: Whatever she’s singing, however she’s singing it, the music in question will be baroque in its depth and crackling with passion, pain, and jubilance, oftentimes all at once. As Florence + the Machine, the band’s experimented with straight-up snarling rock (“Kiss With a Fist”), gothic atmosphere (“What the Water Gave Me”), and pop opuses with ridiculous choruses (“Rabbit Heart,” “Shake It Out”). All three motifs come together in the latest song to drop from their third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. The track is “Delilah,” the band’s twist on the Biblical story of Samson and Delilah.

The original story, of the woman who betrayed her lover by cutting the hair that gave him power, is cleverly subverted in the lyrics, as Welch implores her “Delilah” to not hurt her. The driving force behind the song is the anticipation of waiting for a lover’s call; the song repeats the line “Holding on for your call” as Welch details the feeling of spiraling into uncertainty.

According to Genius, the phone in the lyrics isn’t a metaphor. Welch was waiting on her boyfriend to call her back when the song was written. Song co-writer Isabella Summers (whose original touring name, Isa Machine, was folded in with Florence to create Florence + the Machine) shared this snap on Twitter in March 2013, and while it isn’t clear that this is directly related to “Delilah,” isn’t it much more fun to imagine that such is the case?

If only every time your SO didn’t call or text us back, you could write, and produce, and sing a song of such scope. At least the next time it happens, you’ll know the perfect jam to put on.

(Images via here and here.)

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