“Shake It Out” is the second track from British indie rock group “Florence + The Machine” from their 2011 album: “Ceremonials”.
Written by Florence Welch and producer Paul Epworth, “Shake It Out” is about shaking off the hard and difficult emotional journeys that come with mental health issues. The recording process was a huge part of the track according to Welch, chatting to MTV in 2011 about the track: “I think I came to the studio with a bit of a hangover, and it was one of those strange days where you’re not really sure where a song comes from. [Producer] Paul [Epworth] just had these chords on the organ, and they sounded optimistic and sad at the same time. And I was thinking of regrets, like, you know when you feel like you’re stuck in yourself, you keep repeating certain patterns of behaviour, and you kind of want to cut out that part of you and restart yourself. […] So this song was kind of like, ‘Shake yourself out of it, things will be OK,’. [Because] sometimes I have to write songs for myself, reminding me to let it go. But then, the end refrain of ‘What the hell’ is really important as well, because you’ll dance with the devil again at some point, and maybe it will be fun. I’ve heard he does a really good foxtrot.” Welch also spoke to music magazine NME about the track: “… magic one. I feel weird because I’m always talking about how I’m writing songs when I’m hung over most of the songs weren’t but ‘Shake It Out’ was. Like ‘Cosmic Love’ (it was) written when you’re not feeling too great. It became the ultimate hangover cure, and then it became about something bigger. Like trying to get rid of ‘hangover ghouls’.”
The music video was released on the 3rd October 2011 and was directed by Dawn Shadforth and takes place in Eltham Palace in south-east London. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Welch explained the aim and theme of the “Shake It Out” music video: Think of a psychedelic 1920s dress party with a demonic twist. Possession meets The Great Gatsby… We were kind of going for a sort of ‘Gatsby at West Egg’-style house party but with maybe slightly ritualistic and sort of satanic undertones and séances. That was such a fun video to shoot, for me especially, because I had all my friends down there, and they all came and we all got to dress up and do a casual séance in this beautiful art-deco mansion. It’s basically a party house; there’s one room which was purely just for cutting flowers. My best friend is sitting with me in the tree at the end of the video, and we just got to hang out in a tree for a while. It was really fun.” As of August 2019, the video has over 92 million views and 447 thousand likes.
Release Date: 14th September 2011
Songwriter/s: Florence Welch & Paul Epworth
Producer/s: Paul Epworth
Label/s: Island Records
Music Video Release Date: 3rd October 2011
Music Video Director: Dawn Shadforth