Florence Welch is the daughter of Evelyn Welch, a native of Ireland who is an art historian and author, and once was a Studio 54 regular. Welch's father works in advertising. She is the granddaughter of Colin Welch a former deputy editor of The Irish Times, and the niece of parodist Craig Brown. When Welch was 13 years old her mother moved in with her next door neighbour and his three teenage children. She says, "We get on brilliantly now, but it was a nightmare then. I just used to stay in my room and dance around.”
As a small girl Welch sang to her grandmother and in the school choir. She would dance on top of a wooden chest belonging to her father, that contained all his vinyl records by artists such as Love, The Incredible String Band, The Smiths and The Velvet Underground. Welch's mother liked Tom Jones and The Monkees and Welch says her singing style resulted from listening to a combination of these acts. She also grew up listening to The White Stripes and Kate Bush. She started performing at family weddings and funerals ('mainly funerals') at age 7 and persuaded her parents to let her have singing lessons at age 11.
In school Welch was labelled as dyslexic and dyspraxic.
While attending Alleyn's School in Dulwich, London a secondary school. Welch was in a punk "musical collective" entitled The Toxic Cockroaches.
Welch attended Camberwell College of Art where she "did Foundation Art and got in to do illustration". She attended concerts by art college bands. These gigs would influence the "more outrageous" side of Florence and The Machine's performances. She left Camberwell after a year and a half to pursue her professional music career.
Welch says she writes metaphorical songs that are "stories with consequences and weird morality issues," She gets her material from a variety of sources and experiences. Dog Days Are Over was inspired by an art installation , Kiss With A Fist is about "giving as good as you get.”.
Welch, a self described "real geek", is an avid book reader who likes to completely lose herself in weekend "adventures". As of December 2008 she lived in the Camberwell neighborhood in South London where she was brought up.
Florence and the Machine is the recording name of Florence Welch and a collaboration of other artists who provide backing music for her voice. Musically Florence and the Machine's sound is generally referred to as soul inspired indie. Florence and The Machine's music has received praise across the British music media, especially from the BBC who have played a large part in Florence and The Machine's rise to prominence by bringing them into the spotlight as part of BBC Introducing. This has led to her playing Glastonbury as well as Reading and Leeds festivals. The band's debut album, Lungs, is due to be released on 6th July 2009. The band's debut single was "Kiss with a Fist". The follow up single "Dog Days are Over" was recorded with no instruments in a studio the "size of a loo"