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Bill Nighy Plays Florence Welch’s Anxiety in Florence and the Machine’s ‘Free’ Video

Florence and the Machine has released a new single, “Free,” along with a music video for the track starring British actor Bill Nighy. In the Autumn de Wilde-directed, Ryan Heffington-choreographed clip, Nighy plays the role of singer Florence Welch’s anxiety, following her around as she grapples with her mental health.

“Free” is the latest song to be released off Florence and the Machine’s upcoming fifth LP, Dance Fever. It follows “My Love,” “King,” and “Heaven is Here” — all of which have been accompanied by music videos directed by de Wilde and choreographed by Heffington.

Dance Fever — produced by Welch, Jack Antonoff, and Dave Bayley of Glass Animals — was recorded in London over the course of the pandemic. The songs evoke what Welch “missed most during lockdown — clubs, dancing at festivals, being in the whirl of movement, and togetherness,” according to a release. On Instagram, the singer described the album as “a fairytale in 14 songs.”

Florence and the Machine’s most recent LP, High as Hope, was released in 2018. Last year, the group contributed “Call Me Cruella” to the soundtrack for Disney’s Cruella. In the years prior, the band released a handful of standalone songs, such as “Light of Love,” “Moderation,” and “Haunted House.”

Florence and the Machine will return to the road later this year to bring Dance Fever to North America on a headlining tour. The album release will be celebrated with two special shows in Los Angeles and New York in April and May, respectively — but the extended leg of the tour doesn’t begin until September.

The band will open the fall tour with a show at Montreal’s Place Bell on Sept. 2 and extend through the fall, wrapping with a finale at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Oct. 14. In between, they will make stops in Toronto, Chicago, Boston, New York, Orlando, Austin, Denver, Portland, San Diego, and more. Tickets are on sale now.

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