“I think it’s im­por­tant for peo­ple to see that there isn’t a style team that’s be­hind me do­ing this”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

like Hol­ly­wood (“I’m ob­sessed with the mess that is Amer­ica”). Here, she ex­plores the ex­cite­ment and ab­sur­dity of the Amer­i­can Dream on songs like Teen Idle and Fear and Loathing.

“Why Amer­ica? Be­cause for me, it sym­bol­ises es­capism – and I think if you’re an artist, you have an in­cli­na­tion to­wards fan­tasy and to­wards liv­ing in your mind,” she says.

There are plenty of sto­ries within these 12 tracks; Dia­man­dis’s stock as a song­writer has risen thanks to the canny cou­plets on songs such as Home­wrecker (“You’ll find me in the Lonely Hearts / Un­der ‘I’m af­ter a brand new start’”). A failed re­la­tion­ship also pro­vided in­spi­ra­tion, but the ma­jor­ity of these tracks are so floor-fill­ingly bril­liant that it’s im­pos­si­ble to em­pa­thet­i­cally wal­low in her heartbreak. Her new­found dance­floor edge could be at­trib­uted to the con­tri­bu­tions of pro­duc­ers such as Dr Luke, Liam Howe and even Di­plo, but that’s not to un­der­es­ti­mate Dia­man­dis’s own am­bi­tion.

“It wasn’t even a con­certed ef­fort to go to­wards a more elec­tronic feel, or a more pop feel; but I knew that I just wanted to be a much bet­ter writer, and have a much more co­her­ent sound.” In­flu­enced by ev­ery­one from Kate Bush to PJ Har­vey and Fiona Ap­ple on her early ma­te­rial – “all ballsy women” – the new “pop vamp” di­rec­tion for Ma­rina & the Di­a­monds may not sit well with some of her fans.

“I think it’s im­por­tant for peo­ple to see that there isn’t a style team that’s be­hind me do­ing this,” she coun­ters. “I’ve built this re­ally all on my own. To be hon­est, I prob­a­bly didn’t ac­tu­ally want [the al­bum] to sound how it ended up sound­ing, but I prob­a­bly felt a lit­tle bit more con­fi­dent in my­self as an artist, and more sure of how I wanted to be per­ceived. It also comes from how I was feel­ing; I was an­gry about cer­tain things – or cer­tain peo­ple! – and it just came out that way. So it is much more feisty.

“I don’t think that I had a hugely suc­cess­ful first al­bum; I think I did around medium, in that I wasn’t a flop but I wasn’t a huge star off it, ei­ther. In a way, it was al­most the op­po­site sce­nario to most peo­ple who are in pop mu­sic, and do their first al­bum and worry about the sec­ond; I think it must be quite hard if it is wildly suc­cess­ful. But to me, I still have a lot to prove. I think what­ever I do next will be quite min­i­mal, but who knows... it’s still so early. I’ve def­i­nitely been think­ing about it for a few months. It’s nat­u­ral – when you fin­ish one thing, you just start think­ing about the next thing,” she says with a gig­gle, be­fore skip­ping out of the cab and into her pho­to­shoot. “You should never rest on your lau­rels.”

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