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Useless Magic

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The Florence + The Machine frontwoman’s first-ever book will consist of lyrics and poetry, as well as art derived from Florence’s own sketchbooks. Useless Magic will also give fans an insight into Florence’s creative process by featuring some of the subjects and areas which have inspired her writing. Speaking about the book launch, Florence remarked: “I am so thrilled to be The Florence + The Machine frontwoman’s first-ever book will consist of lyrics and poetry, as well as art derived from Florence’s own sketchbooks. Useless Magic will also give fans an insight into Florence’s creative process by featuring some of the subjects and areas which have inspired her writing. Speaking about the book launch, Florence remarked: “I am so thrilled to be collaborating with Penguin on my first ever book release. It is such an honour.” Fig Tree’s Publishing Director Juliet Annan added: ” I have long wanted to persuade Florence to write a book, and this will be a beautiful record of her songs, a glimpse of the ideas that have inspired them, and a first look at her poetry.” The book will be published as a full colour hardback.


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The Florence + The Machine frontwoman’s first-ever book will consist of lyrics and poetry, as well as art derived from Florence’s own sketchbooks. Useless Magic will also give fans an insight into Florence’s creative process by featuring some of the subjects and areas which have inspired her writing. Speaking about the book launch, Florence remarked: “I am so thrilled to be The Florence + The Machine frontwoman’s first-ever book will consist of lyrics and poetry, as well as art derived from Florence’s own sketchbooks. Useless Magic will also give fans an insight into Florence’s creative process by featuring some of the subjects and areas which have inspired her writing. Speaking about the book launch, Florence remarked: “I am so thrilled to be collaborating with Penguin on my first ever book release. It is such an honour.” Fig Tree’s Publishing Director Juliet Annan added: ” I have long wanted to persuade Florence to write a book, and this will be a beautiful record of her songs, a glimpse of the ideas that have inspired them, and a first look at her poetry.” The book will be published as a full colour hardback.

30 review for Useless Magic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    ”Songs can be incredibly prophetic, like subconscious warnings or messages to myself, but I often don't know what I'm trying to say till years later. Or a prediction comes true and I couldn't do anything to stop it, so it seems like a kind of useless magic.” AAAAAAAHHH One of my favourite people ever is releasing a book! Florence Welch, lead singer of Florence+the Machine, wrote a collection of lyrics and poetry and I'm so so excited! This woman is everything.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Monika

    Florence Welch is my favourite musician, bar none. There was no way I wasn't going to love this. The art is so beautiful and I loved seeing all of her sketches and hand written notes. I was hoping there would be more poetry than lyrics, but it's still a beautiful book for fans of FATM.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Harry McDonald

    ((God knows how I managed to acquire a copy of this a week before its publication fate – bought it at the same time as I bought the latest album, High as Hope. Foyles on Charing Cross Road had a few rogue copies out so I bought one before they realised what they’d done.)) Useless Magic is the first collection of writings (verses?) from Florence Welch, most notable for being the frontwoman of Florence + The Machine. She’s often acclaimed for her vocals, and the band is often praised for the brilli ((God knows how I managed to acquire a copy of this a week before its publication fate – bought it at the same time as I bought the latest album, High as Hope. Foyles on Charing Cross Road had a few rogue copies out so I bought one before they realised what they’d done.)) Useless Magic is the first collection of writings (verses?) from Florence Welch, most notable for being the frontwoman of Florence + The Machine. She’s often acclaimed for her vocals, and the band is often praised for the brilliant noise that it makes, but her lyrics are rarely commented on. Seeing them here, stripped of their music, stark on the page illuminates firstly, just how brilliantly Welch captures sadness, and secondly, just how dense they actually are. Packed with literary allusion and mythic inspiration, each lyric seems to be in conversation with something else, be that another text, or something larger. Organised here by album, you can chart how the almost triumphantly drunk Lungs give way to the darker, more difficult, water-soaked Ceremonials, through to How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, which certainly seems to be Welch at her happiest, to the latest lyrics of High as Hope, which are subtler, more subdued. The book itself is shot through with imagery; lyrics are separated by and punctuated with photographs, paintings, postcards, scraps of Welch’s handwriting (one of the most pleasing things about this book is learning that just like me, Welch seems to write on anything and everything she can get her hands on.) Some of the images are recognisable, like The Lady of Shallot, others are not, more obscure references to pop-art, and many are Welch’s own. The images, like the lyrics, shift as the book progresses. It feels completely seamless, after all, Welch herself looks as though she’s toppled out of the frame of a Raphaelite painting. The most interesting part of the book is the part that hitherto has been inaccessible to her fans, that is, her poems. She writes in her brief preface that she is unsure what marks a poem as different to a song, but from a reader’s perspective, it seems that her songs weave her life into a tighter patchwork of allusion and repetition, focusing on moments, whereas her poetry feels more overtly confessional, or autobiographical. In shorter, clipped verse (apparently Nick Cave helped her edit) she covers more ground, sketching out swathes of her life in no times at all. And as you read, you start to notice recurring ideas, words. Some are more obvious than others – Ceremonials is famously full of songs about water – and others accumulate, ideas of ghosts and gods, demons and drink, years and arms. It feels larger than words, which is I suppose what makes them brilliant lyrics. They feel mythic, magic maybe – useless or otherwise.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Makenzie

    I'M SO EXCITED THIS IS A THING!!!!!!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    "I guess I won't write poetry I'll just stare at my phone for fucking eternity"

  6. 5 out of 5

    ⚔ Silvia ⚓

    Holy fucking shit Florence

  7. 4 out of 5

    ilknur a.k.a. iko ◬

    EN SEVDİĞİMİN KİTABI BUNU BANA ALANIN KÖLESİ OLURUM an itibariyle 6.643423143 * 14.00 £ = 93.00792396 EN SEVDİĞİMİN KİTABI BUNU BANA ALANIN KÖLESİ OLURUM an itibariyle 6.643423143 * 14.00 £ = 93.00792396 ₺

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    Can I give this book 5 stars already?

  9. 4 out of 5

    kimberly➶

    florence welch is my wiccan gf

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anneloes

    Considering how much I love Florence, how could I have loved this any less? It's like her soul.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alfredo (Fred)

    "Maybe I've always been more comfortable in chaos." Esse livro reúne as letras dos quatro álbuns de estúdio da banda Florence + the Machine (Lungs; Ceremonials; How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful; High as Hope) mais poemas inéditos da vocalista, Florence Welch. Essa leitura foi uma experiência única, mesmo eu sendo fã da banda há quase dois anos. Eu sou o tipo de pessoa que demora muito para pesquisar as letras das músicas, porque acho uma tarefa longa e cansativa, geralmente leio pelo encarte. Os "Maybe I've always been more comfortable in chaos." Esse livro reúne as letras dos quatro álbuns de estúdio da banda Florence + the Machine (Lungs; Ceremonials; How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful; High as Hope) mais poemas inéditos da vocalista, Florence Welch. Essa leitura foi uma experiência única, mesmo eu sendo fã da banda há quase dois anos. Eu sou o tipo de pessoa que demora muito para pesquisar as letras das músicas, porque acho uma tarefa longa e cansativa, geralmente leio pelo encarte. Os álbuns da F+TM não têm as letras no encarte, exceto o último, então algumas letras li pela primeira vez aqui. "I'm done with my graceless heart." As letras da Florence são cheias de misticismo, camadas e referências à história, à mitologia e a outros artistas. O Lungs é o álbum mais complexo da banda nesse sentido, ao meu ver, porque tudo é cantado através de metáforas. O Ceremonials continua na mesma pegada, mas com letras mais fácies de entender. Este último foi um álbum que bombou nas trilhas sonoras de séries e filmes por aí. "So I reasoned I was drunk enough to deal with it." O How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful é um álbum pesado, sobre relações abusivas e consumo excessivo de drogas líticas e ilícitas. Foi um período muito conturbado para a cantora, o que nos é reafirmado no seu trabalho seguinte, mais leve e intímo: High as Hope. "At least I understood then the hunger I felt / and I didn't have to call it loneliness." O High as Hope é um álbum lindo, que muda muito a imagem da Florence. Algumas das minhas músicas favoritas estão neles e eu ainda estou VIVENDO o meu amor pelo álbum. "... in those heavy days in june, when love became an act of defiance / Hold on to each other." Em resumo, indico esse livro para fãs da Florence e para quem mais quiser conhecer o trabalho dela. Se você gosta de livros de poesia, talvez esse seja uma boa pedida também. As letras são magníficas. You remind me that it's such a wonderful thing to love, Florence. <3

  12. 4 out of 5

    sharmane

    there’s something magical about her and her writing that hits you where it hurts - it’s a really raw and stark honesty i haven’t seen in anybody else, or connected to as much. i’ve listened and kept up with florence for six years, and this honesty of hers hasn’t changed but she’s gotten alot better at expressing it, especially with this album. so glad she’s published this collection of lyrics and poetry, it’s a slice of beauty that’s kept me alive for so long x

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aljoša

    This book is a mix of poems and songs. As Florence puts it in the preface: "I don’t know what makes a song a song and a poem a poem: they have started to bleed into each other at this stage." I've already known the beloved songs because I love Florence, but I must admit that she'd picked the most poem-y (is that a word?) songs to put in this book. As for the original poems, I loved all of them and I liked the structure of this book. What I really love about this book are doodles and scribbles done This book is a mix of poems and songs. As Florence puts it in the preface: "I don’t know what makes a song a song and a poem a poem: they have started to bleed into each other at this stage." I've already known the beloved songs because I love Florence, but I must admit that she'd picked the most poem-y (is that a word?) songs to put in this book. As for the original poems, I loved all of them and I liked the structure of this book. What I really love about this book are doodles and scribbles done by Florence. Florence is always 5/5.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Adelina

    I LOVE YOU FLORENCE YOU BEAUTIFUL FOREST NYMPH

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dominic

    Useless Magic is a music fan's dream! I'm pretty sure someone unfamiliar with Florence Welch (or her band, Florence + the Machine) would find this book worthwhile, although anyone would have to admit that the book is oh so pretty. The rich maroon cloth binding to the stunning photography on heavy paper—it's essentially an Instagram feed in book form. If you are new to Florence, go listen to her records and fall in love with her! But for longstanding fans, this is such a special glimpse into the Useless Magic is a music fan's dream! I'm pretty sure someone unfamiliar with Florence Welch (or her band, Florence + the Machine) would find this book worthwhile, although anyone would have to admit that the book is oh so pretty. The rich maroon cloth binding to the stunning photography on heavy paper—it's essentially an Instagram feed in book form. If you are new to Florence, go listen to her records and fall in love with her! But for longstanding fans, this is such a special glimpse into the creative mind of the artist. It includes nearly all her lyrics, a handful of poems, and a ton of sketches and jottings ripped from journals and stray pads of paper. Her lyrics really hold up to being read without the music to accompany them, and the poems definitely felt like a glimpse into her writing process. It's such a beautiful package that I'm left wishing I could have a book of this quality for all of my favourite singers. (Hint, hint, Tori Amos. Please do something like this.)

  16. 4 out of 5

    ♆Hayley

    I listen to Florence + the Machine every day. Her music has been there for some of the saddest and happiest moments of my life. I'm going to see her in September and I will cry. I. Need. This.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marijana

    Očekivala sam više poezije, zapravo, prvo sam očekivala samo (novu) poeziju, a ne i tekstove pesama sa svih albuma. Setila sam se koliko su mi važni i koliko volim Ceremonials i HBHBHB. Florensini crteži i rukopis definitivno upotpunjuju doživljaj zbirke i hvala joj što je uvek tako bolno iskrena i ogoljena pred svetom i što se toliko daje umetnosti.

  18. 5 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    “I make songs to tie people to me, With a ribbon of fantasy around their necks Such a beautiful bow That I hold in my fist. And will not let go.” - from the poem American Mother This was sort of a scrap book of lyrics, a few poems, notes, photographs, and artwork. It’s worth checking out if you’re a fan.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mariana Palova

    Florence Welch es sin duda una de mis personas favoritas. No es solo que adoro su música, su voz y la androginia de su aspecto (hablando por lo superficial), sino que hay una magia inigualable en sus letras. Ha sido genial re-encontrarme con su música a través de este libro y descubrir un poco más de la genialidad y potencia de esta mujer en su poesía. Un libro para fans ❤

  20. 5 out of 5

    lauren

    This is a book of my soul. It's like Florence took all of my favorite things and put it into book format. #blessed

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jas

    I'M SO EXCITED FOR THIS, MY ENTIRE MOOD SKYROCKETED WHEN SHE POSTED TO INSTAGRAM TODAY!!!! I don't think I can wait until June.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joni

    3.5*

  23. 5 out of 5

    Décio Coelho

    "To give yourself over to another body That’s all you want really To be out of your own and consumed by another To swim inside the skin of your lover Not have to breathe Not have to think But you can’t live on love And salt water’s no drink We're dying of thirst so we feast on each other The sea is still our violent mother The blood round here pours down like water Each wave a lamb lead to the slaughter And like children that she just can’t teach We break, and break, and break And break ourselves upon the bea "To give yourself over to another body That’s all you want really To be out of your own and consumed by another To swim inside the skin of your lover Not have to breathe Not have to think But you can’t live on love And salt water’s no drink We're dying of thirst so we feast on each other The sea is still our violent mother The blood round here pours down like water Each wave a lamb lead to the slaughter And like children that she just can’t teach We break, and break, and break And break ourselves upon the beach" To me, one of the most powerful poems Welch has ever written.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Becki

    Honestly I didn’t “get” most of the poems but this book is beautifully put together and seeing the lyrics in print was very powerful. My favourite poem was Monarch Butterflies. Before reading: My copy arrived today and it’s beautiful. The words and images seem to represent Florence so well, and as a fan of hers it’s a perfect addition to my shelf. I do still wish though that there was more to read, especially annotations and song meaning sections for the lyrics.

  25. 4 out of 5

    lorena

    florence made my heart ache, as always

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Knope

    This was lovely. I wanted less lyrics and more poetry, but it was wonderful nonetheless. My one complaint was that her handwriting was hard to read in some spots, but what can you do? I'll cherish this book forever.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amanie

    This one was really good for me to read. It combined Welch's lyrics, poetry, art, and photographs assembled into a beautiful book. If you don't feel closer to her as a person after reading this, with a minimal understanding of her being, then I don't know what else could do it. Her lyrics have always been incredibly weighty and human, digging deeper with her voice. I've enjoying getting to know her through social media and her book club, Between Two Books. It's nice to see someone like her expre This one was really good for me to read. It combined Welch's lyrics, poetry, art, and photographs assembled into a beautiful book. If you don't feel closer to her as a person after reading this, with a minimal understanding of her being, then I don't know what else could do it. Her lyrics have always been incredibly weighty and human, digging deeper with her voice. I've enjoying getting to know her through social media and her book club, Between Two Books. It's nice to see someone like her express her sadness, her love of books, her art in varied forms with the world. The poetry at the end of the book is refreshing and begs a different voice than the one we attach to her songs. I have a feeling it won't be the last we hear of it, which I'm excited about.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Very beautiful lyrics and pictures. I wish the poetry section would have been a little longer, but besides that, I love this book and recommend it to anyone who likes Florence's music and/or pretty books (don't we all?).

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Αγάπη και μόνο αγάπη για το πλάσμα αυτό <3

  30. 4 out of 5

    •°• gabs •°•

    hauntingly beautiful.

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