In 2012, Marina Diamandis of Marina and The Diamonds donned a blonde wig and toured the world in a glittery haze to promote her second album, Electra Heart. On the surface, Electra Heart was an overproduced pop explosion, but a closer listen proved that it was actually an in-depth look at stereotypes and female archetypes in American culture. Despite the commercial success of Electra Heart, Diamandis eventually took off her wig and let go of the character that she spent years pretending to be. With her third album, Froot, Diamandis has finally come into her own, even though she may not be exactly who you thought she was.
Like all great women, Diamandis is full of contradictions. She can be sad and happy, strong and vulnerable, honest and reserved, and most of the time, she can be all of these things at once. When Froot was announced and the title track was released, many of Diamandis’ fans were pleased to see that she had kept her signature pop sound. However, when the next track from the album was released as part of her “Froot of the Month” marketing plan, the entire feel of the music had shifted from happy and upbeat to somber and deep. Ironically enough, this new track titled, “Happy,” is a slow and simple look into Diamandis’ personal quest for happiness. While it may not seem to fit in with the disco beats of “Froot,” the breezy feel of “Gold,” or the euphoric “Blue,” it is 100% Diamandis.
Despite her history with pop music, Diamandis isn’t your typical popstar. In the past, she has been known to tackle difficult topics, such as anxiety and loss, and the tracks on Froot are no exception. On “Savages” she sings, “I’m not afraid of God / I am afraid of man,” and subsequently states her views on rape culture and the fears that many women have to live with and tackle every day. This type of commentary may not seem right for your typical pop album, but for Diamandis, honesty and introspection are the ways she best conveys who she is an artist. She’s not afraid to claim that she is weak (“Forget” and “I’m A Ruin”), and she never once apologizes for saying what is on her mind.
So, who exactly is Marina Diamandis? We may never know for sure, but here is what we do know. She is a woman, an artist, and a storyteller. She is someone who has just created the most organic and candid album of her career with help of only one producer (David Kosten). She is one of the most authentic women in the music industry, yet she will never allow herself to be labeled and placed into one box or another. And most importantly, as she states on “Can’t Pin Me Down,” “All of these contradictions pouring out of me, (she’s) just another girl in the 21st century.”
Lauren Mahaffy is a Syracuse, NY native and a recent graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in music business. As much as she would love to be in LA eating burgers at In-N-Out and working at a record label, she is currently spending some time at home with her dog, Princess Sparkle. When she is not job hunting, she can be found binge-watching TV shows on Netflix, posting funny gifs on Tumblr, and singing Miley Cyrus songs in the car. Read her embarrassing tweets @laurenmahaffy