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