Useless Magic
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.

Useless Magic Details

TitleUseless Magic
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 5th, 2018
PublisherFig Tree (Penguin Books Imprint)
ISBN-139780241347935
Rating
GenrePoetry, Nonfiction, Music

Useless Magic Review

  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    ”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.”AAAAAAAHHHOne 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.
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  • Monika
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Makenzie
    January 1, 1970
    I'M SO EXCITED THIS IS A THING!!!!!!!
  • Harry McDonald
    January 1, 1970
    ((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.
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  • ⚔ Silvia ⚓
    January 1, 1970
    Holy fucking shit Florence
  • Lucy
    January 1, 1970
    Can I give this book 5 stars already?
  • Anthe
    January 1, 1970
    This turned me into a 14-year old wannabe witch again
  • Anneloes
    January 1, 1970
    Considering how much I love Florence, how could I have loved this any less? It's like her soul.
  • ♆Hayley
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Jas
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Dominic
    January 1, 1970
    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.)
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  • Sarah Knope
    January 1, 1970
    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.
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    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?).
  • Molly
    January 1, 1970
    Collection of song lyrics from Lungs, Ceremonials, How Big How Blue How Beautiful and High As Hope, as well as handwritten notes, art and poetry. Beautifully collated and provides some great insight. Must have for a Florence + the Machine fan.
  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    ↠ Rating: 4.5 stars"Ever reaching, high as hope."Though a big chunk of this is lyrics and pictures I really really enjoyed it. Getting a glimpse of how Florence sees the world and wants her art to be portrayed was really awesome. I'm so in awe with this woman and her beauty, inside and out. Honestly, I think you could probably sell anything to me if you put her name on it at this point, but don't take that as a sign that this book isn't good, because it IS. It's without a doubt the most beautifu ↠ Rating: 4.5 stars"Ever reaching, high as hope."Though a big chunk of this is lyrics and pictures I really really enjoyed it. Getting a glimpse of how Florence sees the world and wants her art to be portrayed was really awesome. I'm so in awe with this woman and her beauty, inside and out. Honestly, I think you could probably sell anything to me if you put her name on it at this point, but don't take that as a sign that this book isn't good, because it IS. It's without a doubt the most beautiful book I own and I'll sure as hell keep in on display in my room AT ALL times. So while it might be a bit expensive for what it actually is (given that a lot of the content wasn't new per se), if you're a fan of Florence and her music I would still definitely recommend it.
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  • Erica Martin
    January 1, 1970
    It’s pretty obvious that this is meant for her fans. The book is mostly the lyrics to her songs and snippets of her writing (which is terribly hard to read). There are some poems as well but I honestly don’t know shit about poetry and I don’t feel qualified to give an opinion on it. I am a big Florence Welch fan though. I’m taking away a star because she doesn’t seem to know the right form of your/you’re and it’s bothersome. Fans will love it. Non-fans will be pissed.
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  • Kate Klassa
    January 1, 1970
    Lyrics, poetry, art, and journal entries from the heart and soul of Florence Welch. Obviously, there's nothing I don't love about this collection.
  • lauren
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book of my soul. It's like Florence took all of my favorite things and put it into book format. #blessed
  • Joni
    January 1, 1970
    3.5*
  • Victoria Larroque
    January 1, 1970
    The art in this was beautiful and seeing Florence’s doodles and notes was lovely. Being a fan of her music, i enjoyed the experience of reading her songs as poetry. Her words are spells! However, it is just lyrics bound up. I was expecting a little bit more. Hopefully she writes a memoir one day.
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    As I expected, this book was pure magic. Florence is the witching sister that carried me through depression and heartache, high school and college, and the joys of being a free woman in the world. I could not be more thankful for her work or for this book. These are the only spells I need. 👩🏻🎤🧙🏻♀ As I expected, this book was pure magic. Florence is the witching sister that carried me through depression and heartache, high school and college, and the joys of being a free woman in the world. I could not be more thankful for her work or for this book. These are the only spells I need. 👩🏻‍🎤🧙🏻‍♀️
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  • hayden
    January 1, 1970
    though i wish this were heavier on the poetry and lighter on the lyrics, it's still a stunning collection. nothing like seeing lyrics written down on paper to make you really sit back and appreciate them. i didn't realize how masterful some of florence's earlier lyrics were until i saw them in this light. the poems are also cool, and the illustrations and photos.for some random person who doesn't know who she is, this probably won't satisfy as a poetry book, but as a big fan of florence's, this though i wish this were heavier on the poetry and lighter on the lyrics, it's still a stunning collection. nothing like seeing lyrics written down on paper to make you really sit back and appreciate them. i didn't realize how masterful some of florence's earlier lyrics were until i saw them in this light. the poems are also cool, and the illustrations and photos.for some random person who doesn't know who she is, this probably won't satisfy as a poetry book, but as a big fan of florence's, this is a worthy addition to my collection.
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  • Callum McLaughlin
    January 1, 1970
    I've long said Welch is a great writer, and so it's nice to see her lyrics and poetry packaged in such a gorgeous way, alongside her original sketches and jottings, as well as artwork and photographs that have inspired her work. The design of the book itself is phenomenal; it really is a visual feast that is immensely aesthetically pleasing.
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  • Sarina
    January 1, 1970
    Would I like to read a collection of lyrics and poetry by my favorite musician? Hell, yes. When I got this book in the mail I spent a good ten minutes looking at the cover and flipping through the pages. The cover is made out of a softish material and the lettering shines; it’s surprisingly beautiful. The pages are also surprisingly beautiful, when I flipped through them for the first time my eyes were met with many brilliant colors. I’m glad that this book is something I can have and hold. Unfo Would I like to read a collection of lyrics and poetry by my favorite musician? Hell, yes. When I got this book in the mail I spent a good ten minutes looking at the cover and flipping through the pages. The cover is made out of a softish material and the lettering shines; it’s surprisingly beautiful. The pages are also surprisingly beautiful, when I flipped through them for the first time my eyes were met with many brilliant colors. I’m glad that this book is something I can have and hold. Unfortunately, I feel more lukewarm about the content compared to the overall look of this book. Most of the writing portions consist of Florence’s song lyrics. I definitely would love it more if I didn’t know her songs so well. I can’t read her lyrics objectively without feeling the pull of their melodies in my head, a fact that took away from the experience. That being said, there’s value in seeing them in written word. In this way I can fully realize how much of her songs come from a place of pain which I can’t fully grasp when I listening to them to an upbeat tune (I’m talking about “Hurricane Drunk”, “Breaking Down”, “Ship to Wreak”, etc.). There aren’t only song lyrics, of course. Every other song there is a picture along with a doodle or two by Florence. There are also images of her notes, though her cursive scribbles are very difficult to decipher. The highlight of this book is at the end: Florence’s poetry. The poetry section is way too short for my liking (even 100 pages of poetry would probably be “too short” for me, to be honest) and it leaves me thinking, “More poetry, please!” I recommend this to casual Florence and the Machine fans, specifically fans who don’t know all of her songs too well. While reading this I wanted to erase my memory of her songs so I could experience the lyrics afresh. In the future I will definitely use this book as a reference for the art I am itching to make after finishing it. I will also be looking up a song or two whenever I ask myself (amid singing aloud) “Wait... am I singing the right words in that bit?” I hope this is only the beginning of books by Florence Welch!
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    After reading "Useless Magic" and listening to her latest album, "High as Hope", I feel as if I have known Florence personally all my life. In both, she opens up about her life, her family, and her career, showing the most personal and humane side of herself. From the fantastic and eclectic lyrics of the songs from "Lungs" (such as "Dog Days are Over") all the way to "Hunger" and its explicit (and hard to both listen to and read) first line "At 17 I started to starve myself", it's fascinating to After reading "Useless Magic" and listening to her latest album, "High as Hope", I feel as if I have known Florence personally all my life. In both, she opens up about her life, her family, and her career, showing the most personal and humane side of herself. From the fantastic and eclectic lyrics of the songs from "Lungs" (such as "Dog Days are Over") all the way to "Hunger" and its explicit (and hard to both listen to and read) first line "At 17 I started to starve myself", it's fascinating to see how her lyrics have evolved during these almost 10 years she has been the frontwoman of Florence + The Machine. Reading through all these lyrics and poems, which are accompanied by photos, doodles and other mementos, gives you an idea of who Florence Welch really is: an actual human person who has grown up and matured, not just the singer of a band with a heavenly voice.
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  • Eftihia S.
    January 1, 1970
    Σε μια έκδοση-αντανάκλαση της αισθητικής της ίδιας της Florence Welch, συμπεριλαμβάνονται τραγούδια, ακυκλοφόρητη ποίηση, αποκόμματα σημειώσεων, σκίτσα και ζωγραφιές δικές της. Μια έκδοση μαγική, που αποπνέει απόλυτα την αιθέρια και bohemian ομορφιά της Florence και της μουσικής της. Τα μελοποιημένα ποιήματα της που εμείς τα γνωρίσαμε απευθείας ως τραγούδια, αποκτούν μια άλλη σχεδόν υπόσταση όταν διαβάζονται ως ποίηση. Τα λίγα ακυκλοφόρητα δε, μπορεί προσωπικά να μην με άγγιξαν διαίτερα, αλλά ολ Σε μια έκδοση-αντανάκλαση της αισθητικής της ίδιας της Florence Welch, συμπεριλαμβάνονται τραγούδια, ακυκλοφόρητη ποίηση, αποκόμματα σημειώσεων, σκίτσα και ζωγραφιές δικές της. Μια έκδοση μαγική, που αποπνέει απόλυτα την αιθέρια και bohemian ομορφιά της Florence και της μουσικής της. Τα μελοποιημένα ποιήματα της που εμείς τα γνωρίσαμε απευθείας ως τραγούδια, αποκτούν μια άλλη σχεδόν υπόσταση όταν διαβάζονται ως ποίηση. Τα λίγα ακυκλοφόρητα δε, μπορεί προσωπικά να μην με άγγιξαν διαίτερα, αλλά ολοκληρώνουν όμορφα το βιβλίο. Για όλους όσοι είμαστε ερωτευμένοι με τη χροιά*, την αισθητική και τα τραγούδια της, το διάβασμα του “Useless Magic” θα αποτελέσει το πιο τελετουργικό κομμάτι της ημέρας μας.*Αν η ζωή μου είχε soundtrack, δε θα ήθελα να το τραγουδήσει κανείς άλλος, παρά μόνο η Florence και η Tarja Turunen
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  • Katie Pfahler
    January 1, 1970
    There's really not much for me to review on this book, other than the fact it's probably one of the most beautiful books I own. If you're a fan of Florence + the Machine, this is a must have, and puts you right in the mood for High as Hope. All of the illustrations are fantastic--I love getting to see into this side of Florence (ugh her mind, but unironically). I'm definitely getting a tattoo of something out of this book, even if I don't know what that might be yet. I'm sad that it's not all of There's really not much for me to review on this book, other than the fact it's probably one of the most beautiful books I own. If you're a fan of Florence + the Machine, this is a must have, and puts you right in the mood for High as Hope. All of the illustrations are fantastic--I love getting to see into this side of Florence (ugh her mind, but unironically). I'm definitely getting a tattoo of something out of this book, even if I don't know what that might be yet. I'm sad that it's not all of her songs, but it's still fairly comprehensive.
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  • Ë
    January 1, 1970
    Florence Welch has always been a force of nature in her creations. This book is no different than her music, in that aspect. It’s a beautiful scrapbook- from cover to cover, you can truly feel it. Imagery throughout the book is as lovely as the words written. The only aspect that feels as if it was held back on is the poetry section. However, the poems she did share are enchanting. I would highly recommend this book, as it can be both a nourishing read and a source of inspiration.
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  • Steffi
    January 1, 1970
    A book of lyrics with art, doodles, writing, and a few poems. If you're not a big fan, it's probably not for you, but for me it's the perfect display/coffee table book that I find myself leafing through over and over (and over and over again). I really wish "Heavy In Your Arms" was included, but otherwise I now have all the lyrics together in one place for the ease of memorization.
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  • Celian
    January 1, 1970
    Even the book is only for Florence’s poetry and lyrics, the lyrics in visual seemed more beautiful than when I heard them (even they were beautiful already), I guess I only wish she included Bedroom Hymns, it was a favourite of mine. But if you wish to get to know Florence, this book is the place to begin.
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