Current Inspiration: Marina Diamandis

A little while ago, I wrote my first OMG life wouldn’t be worth living if it weren’t for music like this post, and I mentioned one of the artists I was most looking forward to in 2010.  Her name is Marina Diamandis, currently going by Marina and the Diamonds, and I can unreservedly say she’s the freshest, most imaginative, intelligent female musician to hit the airwaves in a long time.  In today’s music scene, artists like the Fergie and Lady Gaga ascend to ridiculous levels of power through radio-friendly pop packages that talk of fashion and promiscuity (I love Gaga’s music videos and “stand up for the geeks” style, don’t get me wrong, but there’s only so much credit I can give someone whose hits include lines like ‘let’s have some fun, this beat is sick, I wanna take a ride on your disco stick’).  Marina stands out in a sea of scantily-clad, generic pop princesses with her smart lyrics, atypical style, creativity, and an enormous sense of who she is.  Her album isn’t out until the 22nd, but I’ve already pre-ordered a copy from the UK, and there are 3 tracks that make this one of my most anticipated albums in a very long time.

Her first single, Hollywood, is somewhat of a shocker; an infectious reflection on “the mess that is America” that’s hands-down the best single of 2010 so far.  On her blog, she states:

“I crave America. I always have, always will. I’m embarrassed to say it as it’s strange but I think about it every single day. It is equally fascinating as it is vile and alive as it is dead.  My first trip was in 2005 and really felt like I’d entered a bubble – nothing feels real.  It’s exhilarating and confusing. As much as it completes me, it empties me. Does anyone else feel like this? Americans reading this blog – how do you feel? What is it like living in America? Why am I so obsessed.. Why do I remain addicted..?”

The lyrics make me wonder how she’ll go down stateside, and evoke memories of perhaps one of the most misinterpreted songs to date – Born in the USA was writtten to cast a shameful eye on how America treated its Vietnam veterans, yet to this day, Springsteen fans chant it as a patriotic song about American pride.  Take a look: Marina’s lyrics in her debut single are about as ballsy as they come.

American queen is the American dream
American queen is the American dream

She is a Polish girl in America
Tall, tanned hot blonde called Anya
I asked her “Why would you want to be a Hollywood wife?”
“Because I don’t wanna end up living in a dive on Vine”
Air hostesses doing gossip magazine crosswords on a flight to old LA
39 years old with a mile-high sheen
Trying to stimulate a mind that is slowly starting to decay

Hollywood infected your brain
You wanted kissing in the rain
Living in a movie scene
Puking American dreams
I’m obsessed with the mess that’s America
I’m obsessed with the mess that’s America

She continues to promote anti-conformity with a second track, I Am Not A Robot.

You’ve been acting awful tough lately
Smoking a lot of cigarettes lately
But inside, you’re just a little baby
It’s okay to say you’ve got a weak spot
You don’t always have to be on top

Better to be hated than loved, loved, loved for what you’re not

Guess what? I’m not a robot, a robot
Guess what? I’m not a robot, a robot

But my favourite track so far has to be the primal Mowgli’s Road, an eccentric number whose tribal beats and Kate Bush-esque vocals combine to reflect the lyrics perfectly.  It’s quirky and indie, yet catchy enough to hit mainstream radio, and unlike anything else in the charts today.

Ten silver spoons coming after me
One life with one dream on repeat
I’ll escape if I try hard enough
‘Til King of the Jungle calls my bluff

Oh Lord
I have been sold
I must take the unforsaken road
There’s a fork in the road
I’ll do as as I am told
And I don’t know, don’t know, don’t know, don’t know
Who I want to be

The lyrics may say otherwise, but I don’t know if I’ve seen anyone quite so sure of who she is, and what she wants to stand up for.  Crank this one up and try not to be sucked in.


  1. Ohhhhhhhhhhh I’m so glad you posted this & Thank you for introducing me to her last year. I love artists who’s songs actually have substance behind the lyrics and actually sound great too. The last track is killer.

  2. She is WILD, what incredible video concepts! I think I need a list of the new artists you’re listening to, I’m dying over here for lack of new music but am having trouble finding time to seek it out.

  3. I’ve never heard of this artist, I’ll have to check it out. I love being introduced to new artists, things that I otherwise wouldnt have been exposed to.

  4. I’m the type of person where if it’s not constantly on the radio, I’ve never heard if it. Which doesn’t work well when all the radio stations play just as much music from the ’80s and ’90s as they do more recent. Very confusing. But I’ll have to check her out. She certainly sounds intriguing.

    1. That’s why I listen to BBC radio – they have lots of shows with more indie and upcoming bands/artists and you can use their “listen again” feature to listen to certain shows you might not hear ’cause of time zone differences. And they have tracklistings so you can find out more about the artists too. I couldn’t live without it!

      Do check her out and let me know what you think! 🙂

  5. I think it’s great when people share their favorite music. Even if it’s not my cup of tea I still like being exposed.

    I love the video to your favorite! It is definitely a catchy number. 🙂

  6. Ok that last one is my new favorite song. I definately had a loud music thursday morning dance party all by myself. Cool video too, love how she’s so creative. And your right, that Hollywood song is very gutsy, and original. Thanks for sharing!

  7. It’s often hard for me to know whether I’m going to like an artist or not until I hear their music. And I’ve got to admit to really liking Marina Diamandis and the three tunes you offered. Not only that, but I’m fascinated by the starry night “do” … if only I could do that on a regular basis – so cool! Thanks!

  8. can’t watch the videos at work but i intend to check them out soon! And I have to say while I don’t own any lady gaga anything the whole “Disco stick” line cracks me up every time i hear it/read it. Not sure why, it just does!

  9. Wow. you’re right. This might actually be a female pop star with substance.

    When she explodes this year, I’ll be sure to give you the credit for introducing me 🙂

    Thanks for the find!

  10. Wonder if Frequency would take this as is for an article 😛 You should totally jump on that though before it’s taken by someone else. What a wonderful tip this was by the way, when you told me about her before. Absolutely brilliant, I pre ordered her album and everything!

    p.s. I love how you still listen to BBC Radio. If nothing else to hang on to that accent of ours that is such a valuable commodity! 😉

    1. Oh I already got on that one when I first heard her, I emailed them and said right, it’s not coming out til February but I WANT THIS ONE!! I can’t find ANYTHING else though, of hers, so I’m going to have to wait til the physical album arrives on my doorstep… I’m sure it’ll be amazing 🙂

      And yes, the only TV we watch is BBC, we get Eastenders every day and soon there’ll be new Dr. Who and Ashes to Ashes, so excited!! And Radio 1 is the soundtrack to my life 🙂

  11. Ooooooh thank you for sharing! She’s got an amazing voice, and that video IS captivating! I’m sorry, I feel like I’ve been so out of the loop lately with being out of town. I haven’t forgotten my bloggy friends!! Hope you’re having a lovely Valentine’s Day!

  12. She’s very interesting…and she’s very right about America. Mostly about image, very little about substance. That’s changing a bit 🙂

    I like her style, and her videos are really intriguing.

  13. I will have to check her out, because I don’t think I’m familiar.

    Some female artists I’m currently enjoying are:
    Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
    Melody Gardot
    The Puppini Sisters

    If you want some poppy bits that transcend (while still sounding like) Paramore, try Hey Monday. I’m brand new to their tiny little EP, but really love it.

    1. I’ll definitely add those to my list! Please don’t mention the P-word… that godawful “I could really use a wish right now” song that’s forever on every station is driving me crazy! 🙂

      1. Whatever their current release is, I hate it. The music video is lame, too. I used to really enjoy their music… well, frankly, because it used to be fresh and new-sounding. A female lead singer for a punky pop band isn’t a new idea, but if it’s a quality sound I’m in.

  14. Oh, and if you want something that puts Paramore to shame, try Aloha From Hell. I totally ❤ them. Heard them when I was in Japan, oddly enough, and thought they were J-Pop, but they're totally not. D'oh.

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