MARINA & THE DIAMONDS

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story  & producer/ Erica Russell

photographer / Spencer Kohn

stylist / Courtney Raniszewski

makeup / Eric Vosburg

hair / Miki Kaneko

Returning triumphantly from the self-aware, fizzy pop sheen of 2012’s
ELECTRA HEART, Marina & The Diamonds has laid her diva pop-star persona to rest. From ELECTRA’s glittering ashes, Marina has been reborn on FROOT, her highly anticipated third album. There are no archetypes or alter egos this time around, just Marina, and that voice of hers.

“[This record] feels very straight forward,” she admits, adding, “I’m only
working with one person on this album. The transition to this record was very different because with Electra Heart, there were so many people
involved. There’s not that much collaboration this time. It’s more of me.”

After the restraints of working on a conceptual pop album with an army of producers and collaborators, FROOT – released back in March – has
proven to be a creative outlet for the emotive artist, a channel for honest
expression and unconditional artistic freedom. “This one definitely feels more
like a performance piece in which I could communicate different ideas and
opinions that I had,” Marina explains. “I really wanted to take my time and let the songs come to me on their own this time, which is something I haven’t had the
opportunity to do on other albums.”

After debuting with her unique brand of quirky indie-pop back in 2010 on The FAMILY JEWELS, and since experimenting with glitzy electro-pop on her
sophomore record, the sound of FROOT evokes the spirit of the 70s with a
celebratory disco lustre. “I was definitely inspired by disco and a 70s feel for this album. It’s funny… you never know when a different era is going to circle back. But I’ve been looking at a lot of 70s references that symbolize strength. Feminine imagery is very important to me, and that can be translated from a lot of different styles from that era.”

Aside from that particular sonic influence, the album is ripe with musical and thematic diversity. There are sweeping, glossy ballads and synthed-up, retro dance-floor bangers; there are big, sad songs and big, happy songs. Straying from the pure electronic production of previous music, FROOT also pulses with the energy of live instrumentation, something that the artist made a point to incorporate into the album.

“My live sound [before] was incredibly different from my recorded sound,” Marina says. “I went to my producer and I told him, ‘I want you to produce me like you would produce a band!’ That really geared the focus and direction for the album. I decided I wanted a real drummer instead of electronic drums. Then I wanted a live guitar as well. It became this mix of organic instruments and electronic sounds. It has a wilder energy, I think.”

In addition to the transition to a more live sound, Marina – who cites “Happy” and “Froot” as two of her favorite tracks off the album – also had to deal with the challenge of an album leak almost two months ahead of the official release date. Despite the disappointment, the artist didn’t let it derail her.

“It’s hard to juggle the challenges of working in the music industry,” she
explains. “Whether you’re a songwriter, a journalist, a musician… It’s pointless to take things too personally. That includes the album leak. I didn’t really feel too emotional about it. I wasn’t angry, just mostly disappointed for my fans. But I think the number one thing is to not take things personally, and the same goes for music critics as well. Just give your attention to the things that are going to inspire you!”

And inspiration, as it were, can always be found in the Diamonds, Marina’s passionate legion of fans who follow her every move and fuel her passion in return. “It feels genuinely gratifying and inspiring and positive,” she says of their support. “I feel like I got a lot of new fans with Electra Heart, a lot of who found me through pop radio. And they’ve stuck around with me. I feel very grateful, because they make this journey worth it.”

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