Friday, December 19, 2014

Marina: Stripped back and Happy

Marina and the Diamonds has always had a confessional element to her lyrics. The opening lines of her debut album are about the hair-pulling anxiety of signing her record deal: "Was I meant to feel happy?" she sings, her mental state directly feeding those nervous tics in her vocals.

But her presentation has always been stylised and conceptualised - from the diamond-encrusted diva of I Am Not A Robot to the "American archetypes" she portrayed in the Electra Heart project.

So it's refreshing to see this unvarnished acoustic performance of her new single, Happy. The video is as naked as the lyrics, as Marina quietly describes her struggles with sadness, and how she found sanctuary.

Marina and the Diamonds - Happy

As I said last week, Happy is a fragile and beautiful song. But I've also worked out what was niggling me about the melody: The "I believe" section really reminds me of Dire Straits' Romeo and Juliet (specifically the line "Juliet, when we made love you used to cry").

Which isn't necessarily a flaw.

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