With her 2012 sophomore album, Marina Diamandis disappeared behind the veil of the fictional Electra Heart, the album’s titular persona who stood as an avatar for femininity in the modern world. Returning this year with new album FROOT, however, and Marina has discarded Electra, instead turning inwards for inspiration and stepping once again into the spotlight as herself, but this new Marina, seems different.
Glistening with the indie-pop pushed skyward that we’ve come to expect and adore from Marina and the Diamonds, FROOT’s array of anthemic, powerful tracks belie a newfound darkness and existential quality that flickers throughout.
With a new musical style and a streamlined production process where she went from multiple producers to just the one, it seems like the world is meeting a whole new artist once again.
In order to meet Marina 2.0, Music Feeds got the chance for a quick Q&A with the Welsh singer song-writer, touching on the differences between album number two and three, how she sees feminism as a part of her identity and just when to expect to see her down under.
1.You have just released your highly-anticipated third album, FROOT. For this record you decided to work with one collaborator for the first time. How come? And what made you choose David Kosten?
Marina: I wanted to simplify everything. David was very supportive and understood what I wanted to do.
2. On Electra Heart you teamed with some of the biggest studio names in pop today – from Dr Luke and StarGate to Diplo. That surprised a lot of people at the time – fans worried that they’d impose themselves on your distinct style! But you’ve since suggested it was educational. What did you take away from the experience?
M: It made me more confident in what I have, actually. In terms of the mechanics of songwriting, it opened me up to new ways of composing too which would go on to inform FROOT.
Watch: Marina And The Diamonds – Electra Heart
3. How do you feel you’re evolving artistically with your third album? How do you feel FROOT stands in relation to your previous work?
M: I think it’s a more consistent and self assured body of work. I don’t know how I’m evolving, but I know that it’s happening!
4. Are there any songs on this album that have particular personal resonance for you?
M: Happy. Savages.
Listen: Marina And The Diamonds – Happy
5. The release date of FROOT was brought forward due to those increasingly pervasive online leaks. One the one hand, this interferes with not only an artist’s ‘marketing’, but also the way they wish to set up the album conceptually, preparing fans. At the same time, leaks can, ironically, create buzz and anticipation for an official release. How do you feel?
M: I don’t really care. It wasn’t a surprise for me.
6. Do you still feel that you are, inherently, an ‘indie’ artist?
M: I’m independent but I don’t really know what the genre implies anymore.
7. Now that you have an album out, you are probably listening to other music again! Any current favourites?
M: Not a lot actually. Shamir is good though.
Watch: Shamir – Call It Off
8. Charli XCX is often compared to you – but people love to compare! Can you discern your influence on any other contemporary acts?
M: It’s not my place to say that!
9. Pop’s female stars are increasingly being seen as role models for a new wave of feminism – and, going by Twitter with photos taken at award ceremonies, etc. there seems a strong sense of camaraderie among them as well. Do you yourself identify with feminism? How do you feel about being a role model, period?
M: Of course. I’m a woman. I don’t identify or even think about the idea of “role model”. What’s the point? I never had a desire to be that. All I’m interested in is conversation and the ideas generated and discussed in that. My career in music provides me with a forum for that.
10. You have a huge gay following internationally – and that community loves FROOT. Has that identification surprised you? How conscious of your fandom are you when creating?
M: I don’t create for fans, musically. I write for myself. But when I am planning tours, videos etc. I have fans in mind. The gay community is very loving and supporting.
11. Do you have any Australian tour plans?
M: Yes! But let’s wait and see before I talk more about it. 😉
FROOT is out now, via Neon Records/Atlantic.