If you had the chance to listen to Marina Diamandis (aka Marina + The Diamonds) stellar debut album The Family Jewels, you probably know by now that her writing is somehow obsessed with the concept of the american dream and the idea of being successful no matter what. If on one hand this half Welch/half Greek singer-songwritter recorded some of the most ironical lyrics about the superficiality of the american culture (eventually calling her show “The Burguer Queen Tour”), on the other hand she spent a good portion of her debut record stating that she was here to stay and it wasn’t her problem if people didn’t get that yet. Pointing her finger at the idea that in pop culture you have to pretend to be what you’re not, she was determined to make it on her own terms. Armed with a critical eye on culture, a great sense of humor and a rather unique voice, Marina crafted an impeccable collection of hook-heavy storytelling pop songs aiming both at your body and at your brains, using her perception of the american dream as subtext.
Now, while in the process of recording a new album, Marina is introducing fans to a Bowie-like alter-ego called Electra Heart, a character that she describes as being the antithesis of everything that she believes in. In essence, she’s playing with the idea of being what she’s not, only to explore a side of the spirit of America that has nothing to do with glamour and is all about loss and failure. The idea here is to portray someone lost in her ambition, or in Marina’s own words: Electra Heart stands for the corrupt side of American ideology, and basically that’s the corruption of yourself. My worst fear – that’s anyone’s worst fear – is losing myself and becoming a vacuous person. And that happens a lot when you’re very ambitious. The whole notion of pop culture and especially pop music is ALL based on illusion. And portraying yourself as something more exciting than you are. And my heart is always against that. So that’s why I’m doing it. What might sound confusing at first really is not: she’s showing a mirror image to America and saying “this is what I think of you”, using herself as a vehicle to portrait what she doesn’t want to become.
Electra Heart’s story will be split in 3 music videos. The first one was recently released (the gloomy new song Fear & Loathing) and somehow introduces us to this lost woman in front of her vanity mirror, cutting her hair and crooning about her new found perception of life (I lived a lot of different lifes, been different people many times, lived my life in bitterness and filled my heart with emptyness). The sound here is less pop and more trip-hop, a mature departure for Marina’s previous offerings, and her voice still strikingly unique as always. The track works as an introduction to the story and the next piece of the Electra Heart series will be uploaded soon on youtube. For an extensive insight into the concept of the series read Marina’s interview with Popjustice here.