HYPE ME CAPTAIN: Marina and the Diamonds

Every week, I throw down an artist or track that should be common knowledge.

This week, the voice of a Welsh lass will flood your ears.

Marina and the diamonds, as she likes to style it, refers to herself and her fans, the diamonds.  Riding on the recent British wave of pop music with the likes of Ellie Goulding and Florence + the Machine, she has distinguished herself solely on her experimental style.  She doesn't write shimmery pop tracks that are covered in glitter, nor does she follow the darker, melancholic side.  She covers a lot of ground in terms of lyrical matter too, from American materialism to social values and female sexuality.

What sticks out first and foremost is her voice---particularly her delivery.  She has a great vocal range, shifting from lows to highs to mids like she was doing it since she was 5.  She goes against the pop music norm and spends an unusual amount of time with the lows, throwing out weirdly psychedelic intonations that really make you pay attention.  Maybe she doesn't reach the outskirts that are achieved by the likes of her colleague Ms. Goulding or the younger Mariah Carey, but it is just as interesting.

Her beats are in a lot of places.  "I Am Not a Robot" is a softer indie rock gem driven by a piano and drums combination; "Mowgli's Road" rides on a heavy bassline that guides the main piano rhythm; "Shampain" is more mainstream glam-pop disco with a huge synthesizer atmosphere.  Primarily though, she is a synth-drums-bass-keys woman.

"...There's a lot of pop on it, but there's kind of a lot of leftfield experimental stuff as well.  It's basically an album about what not to be" - Marina.  She's a little bit quirky, a little bit cute, and unusually charming.

For a complete plate of her sound: "I Am Not a Robot", "Hollywood", "Shampain", "Mowgli's Road".

Her debut album The Family Jewels drops May 25th.

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