Florence Welch Forgot About “the Scale” of Taylor Swift’s Reach Until “Florida!!!” Dropped on ‘Tortured Poets Department’

Florence Welch is giving fans a brief glimpse into what recording “Florida!!!” with Taylor Swift for The Tortured Poets Department was like.

The Florence & the Machine frontwoman sat down with British Vogue to discuss what she does in her downtime between tours and recording, as well as her BBC Proms debut this summer. While chatting with the publication, the musician also opened up about working with Swift on her 11th album, which was released April 19.

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When asked if she was prepared for the internet discourse that followed Tortured Poets when it was released, Welch admitted she wasn’t quite ready.

“I almost didn’t think of the scale of it,” she told Vogue. “There’s the sort of bigness of [Taylor Swift the phenomenon], and then there’s the Taylor I spend time with in the studio, who is just the sweetest and most down to earth.”

She revealed that Swift approached her with a “concept and a story” for the song, which is Welch’s “favorite way to start songwriting,” she shared. “We had such a fun time. And then when it came out I was like, ‘Oh, shit!’”

“Florida!!!” is featured on the installment of Tortured Poets (the Grammy-winning artist released an additional 15 songs at 2 a.m. ET following the release of the initial album). In a track-by-track experience of some of the songs featured on the album, Swift broke down her song with Welch.

“I think I was coming up with this idea of what happens when your life doesn’t fit or the choices you’ve made catch up to you and you’re surrounded by these harsh consequences and judgment and circumstances did not lead you to where you thought you would be? And you just want to escape from everything you’ve ever known. Is there a place you could go?” she explained.

She continued, noting that she watches Dateline and “people have these crimes that they commit; where do they immediately skip town and go to? They go to Florida. They try to reinvent themselves, have a new identity, blend in. I think when you go through a heartbreak, there’s a part of you that thinks, ‘I want a new name. I want a new life. I don’t want anyone to know where I’ve been or know me at all.’ And so that was the jumping off point behind where would you go to reinvent yourself and blend in? Florida!”

Since the singer-songwriter released her newest album, she has broken several records, including the most-streamed artist in one day on Spotify, the most-streamed album in one day on the music platform and the most-streamed album in one week with 1 billion streams (in five days).

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