She is no mother. She is no bride. She is king. Florence + The Machine released a new song and music video Wednesday (Feb. 23) for their powerful new track “King,” which examines lead singer Florence Welch’s thoughts on the dissonance between womanhood and her career as a performing artist.
“As an artist, I never actually thought about my gender that much,” the 35-year-old indie rock star said in a statement about the release. “I just got on with it. I was as good as the men and I just went out there and matched them every time. But now, thinking about being a woman in my 30s and the future … I suddenly feel this tearing of my identity and my desires.”
“King” is a personal manifesto on transcending gender-defined roles, according to the release. “To be a performer, but also to want a family might not be as simple for me as it is for my male counterparts,” Welch added. “I had modeled myself almost exclusively on male performers, and for the first time I felt a wall come down between me and my idols as I have to make decisions they did not.”
Directed by Autumn de Wilde, the video matches up poignant lyrics such as “We argue in the kitchen about whether to have children/ the scale of my ambition” and “I never knew my killer would be coming from within” with chilling visuals of Welch snapping a man’s neck and leading what looks to be an all-female cult worship — all while floating in the air like a ghost through landscapes that are both gothic and industrial. The video is as dynamic as the song, which moves between soft, pensive moments and roaring, anthemic releases.
The haunting new track is the group’s first release since 2021’s “Call Me Cruella,” which was featured on the soundtrack to Disney’s live-action film Cruella, starring Emma Stone in the title role. The group’s most recent album was 2018’s High As Hope, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, and remained on the chart for five weeks.
Watch Florence + The Machine’s supernatural new video for “King” below: