Florence + the Machine's second single, "Hunger," explores the concept of a "hunger" for love. It's a fascinating and often harrowing look at the ways in which people seek to fill their need for connection, whether it be with themselves or with others.
The song is the first to be released from their latest album, High as Hope, and it's a perfect example of how Welch's writing has evolved since her debut. It's a gorgeous, impossibly delicate tune that slowly shifts into a euphoric clap-along with a dazzling chorus that is both catchy and poignant.
It's also a great example of how Welch can take seemingly innocuous lyrical themes and turn them into uplifting hits. Her lyrics are laced with a bravery that is often a hallmark of her music, and it shows on tracks like this one, where she sings about suicide and self-destruction: “I cried my way out/I threw away my dreams/I shook it out.”
During the track's climax, Welch screams into the void. This makes it feel very emotional, but it's the same voice we know from songs such as "Shake It Out" and "The End of Love," and it's clear that this is a moment when Welch is finally free.
The video for "Hunger" is a visual delight. The narrator is surrounded by different images of people dancing around a classical statue with holes in its hands and side. They're all trying to fill their "hunger" by presenting themselves as an offering before a Christ-like figure.