Meah McCallister | Culture Staff Writer | firstname.lastname@example.org
Marina, formally dubbed “Marina and the Diamonds,” is releasing new music and her fans couldn’t be more excited. After nearly four years, Marina has broken back into the music world with the debut of a new song and music video.
With the release of her first album, “The Family Jewels” in 2010, Marina set herself apart from other artists with an intriguing style and sound. The second album, “Electra Heart,” was released in 2012 and has been her most popular. The album had a more electro-rock feel, while still boasting Marina’s impactful lyrics. Her songs used traditional pop tones and appeals, coupled with her own unique voice. The lyrics spoke to underlying angst and feelings of losing control that many listeners latched on to. Marina combined the look and feel of a quirky pop artist with the depth and emotion of a poet.
However, there was a slight change in 2015 with the release of Marina’s third album, “Froot.” The album did not perform as well as many had hoped — specifically among fans and critics. While her lyrics remained powerful, the feel of the album was different than her previous two projects. There seemed to be a consensus that something was off and, soon enough, Marina faded from the spotlight and left her fans hopeful for new music.
Now, Marina’s loyal fans got their wish. On Feb. 8, Marina came out with a new song, “Handmade Heaven,” and music video. The song’s release is a teaser for Marina’s upcoming album, and it’s already clear she’s grown as an artist and person.
The new single still maintains the voice and sound Marina fans remember while offering listeners a new feeling: relief. Like taking a deep breath, the song soothes the listener through the unique combination of high notes and sultry sounds from Marina’s signature deep voice. Her singing, accompanied by a slow techno background, washes over the listener and provides a calming feeling.
The song is slower than her more popular music but still holds the old voice fans have missed in her absence. Marina opens the song by saying that she “env[ies] the birds high up in the trees / They live out their lives so purposefully.” Here, she sings about wanting to belong as easily as nature belongs to itself. In reality, Marina doesn’t feel the same sense of belonging as she expresses in “Handmade Heaven.” The notion of isolation is common in past Marina and the Diamonds songs, but here she sings about wanting to find a place where she finally feels “alive.”
The music video to “Handmade Heaven” follows the song perfectly, depicting snowy landscapes with Marina, alone, dressed in red and singing along to the words she wrote. It’s a much simpler video than fans are used to seeing from Marina, but the symbolism remains. Like the song, Marina stands alone in the music industry, as she attempts new styles and is brave enough to reinvent herself musically.
It seems for the first time in a long time, Marina is performing for herself and connecting with her true identity as an artist. She’s never fit into one creative box, which has opened an opportunity for her to redefine how listeners think about music, especially her own.