A week ago I caught a televised musical performance by a relatively-new singer. I was instantly hooked by her melodic songs, their deeply-personal lyrics and the singer's fabulous costumes. I went right to Amazon and bought her latest album, "Froot." Her stage name is Marina and the Diamonds. (Diamonds, a play on her actual last name, Diamandis, is a reference to her fans.)
Marina grew up in Wales. Her mother is Welsh and her father Greek. After growing up poor but happy, she moved to London a decade ago to pursue a musical career. She's largely self-taught and her songs ooze authentic emotion. She became a singer to express herself, not grab fame.
In the old days (Seventies), we respected singer-songwriters who wrote their own songs, explored their personal lives, and connected with fans in a direct way. Today, that's disappeared. Current pop-stars sing songs written by other people, they dance to choreography designed by other people, and their music is produced and auto-tuned by other people to a ridiculously-artificial degree. It's hard to connect to such fake art.
Marina's music is different. The lyrics are honest and interesting. Her melodies are sweet and engaging. Best of all, though, are her costumes. They've been described as "retro, surreal and cartoonish." They definitely have a 70s-vibe and are beautiful works of art. Marina has her outfits specially designed and made for her, with their aesthetic appeal being the motivation. They vary widely in style.
In the past five years, Marina has attracted a devoted cult following. She hasn't achieved pop stardom but it doesn't appear that she wants it. Her music is too genuine and she doesn't want to compromise it. I respect that.
If you haven't heard of Marina, give her a chance.