A match made in heaven: Florence + the Machine invited Ethel Cain onstage to sing “Morning Elvis” at the Denver Ball Arena and now that ethereal version of the song is available for us mere mortals. Haunting and wielding an otherworldly beauty the song is given a new magic thanks to the kindred spirits that collide on it. Although the two had only rehearsed for about an hour prior to singing together onstage, both of them (and no doubt every lucky soul in the venue) immediately felt the connection between the two.
The song just works so much better as a duet, with Florence even detailing in a press release that she kept giving Ethel more and more lines because she was enamoured by the way she would sing the song. “When Hayden sang this song it felt like it was hers,” she said. “She really gave it that outlaw energy, like witches of the Wild West.” She even goes on to say she now sings the song with Ethel’s own inflection — real recognizes real.
And who could disagree with her? Ethel’s low resounding coos are such an explicitly perfect compliment to Florence’s euphonious trill. When they harmonize it’s the most uplifting and brutally heart-rending sound to grace your ears. I can’t be the only one now pining for an entire album delivered by the two steeped in their ghostly and witchy aural aesthetics.
For her part Ethel was just as struck by awe in rehearsing and performing alongside Florence. “It felt like a holy convergence happening in a basketball arena,” she said of the experience. “Florence’s dressing room smelled like powder and sage and we were both dressed in white, singing our lines back and forth to each other, and I felt like I was back in choir practice, but with an actual angel this time.”
But in both the audio and video recorded of this cosmic event it’s pretty self-evident both Florence and Ethel are glowing, radiating back to each other this tenderhearted warmth. Enchanting beyond belief and flinging their soul-assauging cries into the ether — this was a collaboration for the ages.
Words by Steven Ward
Listen to Florence + the Machine and Ethel Cain sing “Morning Elvis” below!