New Music
06.04.2009, Words by Charlie Jones

Marina and the Diamonds "I want a whole world to explode."

You listen to Marina and the Diamonds and you’re a kid again, dazzled by Bedknobs and Broomsticks on the telly. Cartoon stars fly, technicolor rainbows arc skyward and trees burst up through cracks in the pavement.

Not that there’s anything sugary or two-dimensional about the world she creates. Debut single Obsessions – recently released on 7” label Neon Gold , home to the equally magical Passion Pit – is a case in point. Accompanied by a low-budget beauty of a video , it has a vocal that wraps you round her little finger, a lushly orchestrated soundscape and lyrics that resonate long after the melody melts away. “I want to wipe out all the sad ideas that come to me when I am holding you,” she sings, evoking the pain-pleasure that rules when emotion cancels out the rational.

Predictably, the 23-year-old Welsh singer-songwriter has been lumped in with fellow zeitgeist-friendly artists Allen, Nash et al. “(Comparisons) get kind of boring,” she tells us over email from New York where she’s been gigging, “but I understand. It’ll pass.” Better get ours in quick then. Marina holds her own ground somewhere between Regina Spektor and Kate Bush, who she counts as a recent influence. “I only started listening to her a year ago after all the Kate Bush comments. She is a very sweet soul.”

While there’s a Neon Gold EP on the way in May to tide us over, we can look forward to a full-length debut produced by Liam Howe (ex-Sneaker Pimps) later this year. It’s a well-matched collaboration. “I like my sounds to be full of texture,” she explains, “and so Liam and I try and create that. I want a whole world to explode into life when something like Mowgli’s Road is switched on.”

When she’s not exploding worlds through sound, she’s fulfilling her ambition to cover her life in gems by customising her outfits. “It’s not rocket science: put glue on rhinestone, stick rhinestone on shoe,” she jokes. Not that she’d underestimate the importance of aesthetics: “(performance) is a piece of art”. While she might not like labels (her myspace reads other/other/other), her music has that magical something that is both instant and lasting. Three cheers for proper pop.

Marina and the Diamonds’ myspace

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