Marina and the Diamonds

</span><br /><em><strong>Marina and the Diamonds</strong></em><br /><strong>FROOT</strong><br />Words by Greg Mania<br />Images courtesy of Atlantic Records<br />Produced by Jake Freeman</br><br />When I asked Marina Diamandis to describe her new album <em>FROOT, </em>which <a href=”” target=”_blank”>leaked</a> a few days ago (two months ahead of schedule), in three emojis, the 29-year old Welsh singer-songwriter paused while she pondered my extremely in depth, Christiane Amanpour-like question, and responded with: “the diamond, the sparkly firework, and the purple grape.”<br /><br />Refusing to be restricted by the boundaries of genre, the latest studio effort from Marina Diamandis—who goes by the moniker “Marina and the Diamonds”—is a musical pole vault that leaps over the bar she set pretty high with <em>Electra Heart</em>. Her ticket to attaining pop music notoriety came hand-in-hand with her peculiar style, and ever since, has been an antithetical presence in the pop meets electronic ethos.<br /><br />“Each album is quite different,” she told me over the phone between laughs about our similar anal-retentive qualities, “I wrote most of the first album without any kind of idea of what genre I wanted it to be. <em>Electra Heart </em>was a bit more calculated; I was writing with people who are strong pop writers. With this album, I’ve accepted that it doesn’t matter anymore. It doesn’t need to be defined.”<br /><br /><span>
</span><br />It’s unequivocally clear that she’s evolved as a songwriter since her debut with <em>The Family Jewels</em> back in 2010. Subsequently, her second record release <em>Electra Heart </em>in 2012 exuded that infectious, light pop sound with a heavy synth-based sonic infrastructure, with songs that could easily take up long-term residence in your cranium. But her upcoming studio effort has evolved past that, pushing her boundaries as a songwriter and performer.<br /><br />“It was organic,” she told me, “Recording and producing has been a challenge. Before it was very electronic, and with this album—as soon as I realized I needed a real drummer—everything started to fall in place. I wanted to produce with real instruments. It wasn’t too clean or polished, rather more of live treatment in a studio capacity.”<br /><br />A few songs released from the upcoming album corroborate that notion: “Immortal” and “Happy” have entered into sonic territory that Marina hasn’t quite explored prior to <em>FROOT</em>. They pack more or a raw punch, and lyrically still harbor the unwavering honesty we’ve been hearing from her from the start.I asked what kind of setting <em>FROOT </em>would be the ideal soundtrack for and she told me “somewhere tropical, and preferably night time.” Her inability to feel pressure to one-up herself has been a pivotal tool in maintaining her raison d’être as an artist.<br /><br />“There is no pressure for me. I recognize that I have established a level of success. In my head, I’m not there yet. It’s not like I was like, ‘Oh shit, my album did so well, I need to do better.’ It’s more in terms of feeling understood rather than success.”<br /><br />As for the not-too-distant future, Marina told me the live treatment of her music is evolving as well. She’s ditching the cute, intensely hued dresses for suits (including pantsuits, to which I expressed my overwhelming adoration for, followed by my meltdown regarding a plaid on plaid ensemble I told her she needed to wear. Sorry you had to witness that, Marina.) with the intent of pushing a powerful feminine front during her live shows.<br /><br />It’s certainly the beginning of a new chapter for this captivating songstress; from the meticulously crafted personas, the character-driven narratives exploring female archetypes, now comes an album born from uncertainty and unpredictability, which is where the real diamonds lie; in the rough. <br /><br /><!–mep-nl–><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”allowfullscreen”></iframe>