Florence + the Machine subvert gender norms in “King”—watch
The music video was directed by Autumn de Wilde. It features vocalist Florence Welch as a sorcerer who literally and figuratively floats above it all. She's the only source of color in the visual, her fiery red hair peeking out under a silky purple robe. “King” itself challenges the expectations of womanhood, family and femininity. Welch sings, “I am no mother, I am no bride, I am king” as she snaps a person's neck with her hands.
“As an artist, I never actually thought about my gender that much,” Welch explains in a press release. “I just got on with it. I was as good as the men, and I just went out there and matched them every time. But now, thinking about being a woman in my 30s and the future, I suddenly feel this tearing of my identity and my desires. That to be a performer, but also to want a family might not be as simple for me as it is for my male counterparts. I had modeled myself almost exclusively on male performers, and for the first time, I felt a wall come down between me and my idols as I have to make decisions they did not.”