Breath of Life (Florence and the Machine song)

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"Breath of Life"
Single by Florence + the Machine
from the album Snow White and the Huntsman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Released 26 April 2012 (2012-04-26)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2011
Length 4:08
Label Island
Producer(s) Isabella Summers
Florence + the Machine singles chronology
"Never Let Me Go"
"Breath of Life"
"Spectrum (Say My Name)"
Music video
"Breath of Life" on YouTube
Audio sample

"Breath of Life" is a song by English indie rock band Florence and the Machine, recorded exclusively for the film Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). The song was co-written and produced by Isabella Summers and orchestrated by James Newton Howard. It was released on 26 April 2012 on iTunes. "Breath of Life" peaked at number eighty-seven on the UK Singles Chart and was nominated for the World Soundtrack Award for Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

"Breath of Life" received positive reviews from music critics. Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone gave the song three-and-a-half out of five stars, stating it is "Flo at her most toweringly gothed-out. All doom-drum rush and endless-midnight orchestral sweep, it sounds like it was produced by Sauron the Dark Lord of Mordor—but in a good way. The wintry tumult sets the stage for a display of primal vocal acrobatics and white-knuckled emoting. Priya Ellan from NME praise the song "Those resounding, tribal drums are paired up a Greek Chorus of backing vocalists (a 60 piece choir it turns out!). These elements, plus the searching orchestration, give the track a widescreen depth and are, you'd imagine, an appropriately faux-gothic addition to a film about Snow White starring one of the Twilight cast. The bridge finds Florence's vocals blending with the phalanx of voices (appropriate for the "all the choirs in my head,") lyric. If she's set to continue down this path of musical bombast, it feels like the next logical step for her to take".

Music video[edit]

A music video for "Breath of Life" was directed by Scott Murray and premiered on YouTube on 14 May 2012. The video shows Florence in the studio singing the song as well as clips from Snow White and the Huntsman. The video has received a nomination for Best Video from a Film at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards Japan.[2]


Chart (2012) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[3] 57
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 64
France (SNEP)[5] 143
Germany (Official German Charts)[6] 65
Ireland (IRMA)[7] 68
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 87
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles[9] 11

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format
United States[10] 26 April 2012 Universal Republic Records Digital download
Australia[11] 27 April 2012 Universal Music
United Kingdom[13] Island Records


  1. ^ World Soundtrack Awards Announces 2012 Nominees
  2. ^ Ng, May (29 March 2013). "Nominations for MTV VMAJ 2013 has been announced!". MSN Malaysia Entertainment. Microsoft. Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Singles – Week Commencing 2nd July 2012" (PDF). ARIA Charts. Pandora Archive. Retrieved 3 March 2013. 
  4. ^ " – Florence + The Machine – Breath Of Life" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  5. ^ " – Florence + The Machine – Breath Of Life" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  6. ^ " – Florence + The Machine – Breath Of Life". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Top 100 Singles". Irish Recorded Music Association. 3 May 2012. Archived from the original on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Official UK Singles Top 100". Official Charts Company. 12 May 2012. Archived from the original on 11 May 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Florence and the Machine – Chart history: Bubbling Under Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Breath of Life – Single by Florence + The Machine". iTunes Store US. Apple Inc. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Breath of Life – Single by Florence + The Machine". iTunes Store Australia. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Breath of Life – Single by Florence + The Machine". iTunes Store Germany. Apple Inc. Retrieved 12 April 2013. [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Breath of Life – Single by Florence + The Machine". iTunes Store UK. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 5 August 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 

External links[edit]