MARINA's recent album sticks to the electric sound and bold socio-political lyricism fans have come to loveTwitter/MarinaDiamandis

MARINA [formerly Marina and the Diamonds] probably provokes an image of the punky, rebellious ‘diva’ anthems “Primadonna” and ‘How To Be A Heartbreaker’ that are composed of an upbeat, heavy bass sound with strong electric-dance-pop influences. Her lyrics consist of a self-proclaiming greatness, with themes of beauty, the ability to break one’s heart, or to ‘have a little fun’. A superficial glance at her discography and you’re probably departing with an opinion that her music is exactly that: fun, emboldening, spunky, and a little egotistical. However, delving a little deeper, her lyricism shows an unparalleled profundity. It is exceptional at capturing human emotion, encompassing delicacy and vulnerability. I still feel overtaken by the depth of connection I feel to her songs. I can’t call to mind another artist that is able to capture certain feelings in such a raw, visceral way with such poeticism and beauty.

"Primadonna" perfectly captures MARINA's typical 'rebellious diva' image and heavy bass soundsYouTube/MARINA

Diamindis released her latest album Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land on 11th June 2021, that had bold, sociopolitical lyricism (“Man’s World” and “Purge the Poison”) as well as hosting her iconic, emboldening self-love anthems (“Venus Fly Trap”). She remained loyal to her bold, electric-dance sound, as well as showcasing her hauntingly beautiful, softer-sounding songs, like in “Highly Emotional People”. Overall, I do enjoy the album, but there was no one song that I felt unequivocally passionate about and connected to. That was until Diamandis released her latest song on the 3rd December 2021, entitled “Happy Loner”.

Immediately, I fell absolutely in love with this song. Upon hearing it for the first time, I did tear up. I feel so overwhelmingly understood by this stunning song. It explores the feeling of absorbing external energy in the world and feeling so sensitive to it, that you feel the need to become recluse and find solace in solitariness, so as to provide self-restoration. The song has such a delicate and frail sound to it, with twinkling and gentle piano notes. Diamandis’ voice is light, soft and clear, capturing those feelings, ingeniously, vocally. There is an inherently comforting nature to her soft vocals, as though she is wrapping a warm blanket around you and cradling you, the way she needs to cradle herself with her isolation. The lyrics “too much” are echoed several times, conveying her obsessive thinking when the world overwhelms her, but, partnered with the soft vocals, there is a soothing and reassuring melody that makes listeners lulled and becalmed.

“There is no comparable lyric that encapsulates the feeling of being so deluged by the world that you cannot breathe”

Diamandis pines “everything’s wrong, guess my thoughts escalated” encapsulating so aptly, the devastating and sometimes delusional over-thinkers’ mentality. I often find myself so nerve-stricken and paranoid, heart racing that “everything” has collapsed because of some small thought that escalates, most of the time with no legitimacy. Diamandis repeats the lyric “When I’m alone” and proceeds to explain that she feels “things are under control” and she can “turn off the world”. The simplicity of these lyrics perfectly captures how I often feel.

Particularly breath-taking and relatable are the lyrics “I don’t wanna be so accessible” and “it’s too hard to pretend/ so I stay away from my friends”. Oftentimes, I feel as though I walk through the days of my life feeling like an open wound, exposed and raw. I feel as though with one glimpse of an energy I perceive to be ‘slightly off’, I spiral and it affects my mood. Peering at me a second too long, will one comprehend my vulnerabilities and so disregard me? With those overpowering thoughts, you yearn to be ‘inaccessible’ so as to avoid being infiltrated by the world’s energies and therefore dissociate from it. I love my friends more than anything in the world. Singularly, my friends are the strength and source that enrich my life and affirm my existence. But sometimes, I feel so vulnerable to difficult external energy and so desire to be alone.


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These feelings heavily emerge sensorily as well. If something feels too loud or bright, in an abrasive manner, I find it extremely difficult to cope with. Diamandis further conveys this with her lyrics “I pick up on everybody’s energy” and “when the world is overwhelming, I need to breathe”. There is no comparable lyric that encapsulates the feeling of being so deluged by the world that you cannot breathe. You crave and yearn to be alone so that you can do the bare necessity of ‘breathing’. Diamandis’ use of “how I learnt to survive” and “losing my mind” elevate and perfectly express the severity and conquering nature of these feelings.

Diamandis has stated, in reference to “Happy Loner”, that she “can’t relate to it anymore”, which must be a great source of contentment: to heal and grow through those feelings. That I do relate immensely to the song acts as a comfort blanket, a soothing mechanism amidst an often-overwhelming life. MARINA provides a communication device, a mutual energetic understanding for her listeners, alleviating their strain. It has certainly reminded me of the transcendent ability art has to help humans cope with life’s adversities. Art can offer you solace, community, reflection and understanding, in safe surroundings and the comfort of solitariness.