Marina and the Diamonds’ recent singles are looking Frootful

Music

We’ve heard three songs now from Marina and the Diamonds’ third album, Froot, and it’s looking to be a pop triumph. The style is familiar – she’s tweaked and perfected the formula that made 2012’s Electra Heart so good. So far we have the sexually charged up-tempo ‘Froot’, the slow ballad ‘Happy’ and the most recent track, the expansive and ethereal ‘Immortal’. While very different songs, each shows off the theatricality and subtly clever lyrics that make her one of the best pop acts to have come out of the UK in years.

As with Electra Heart, there have been music videos accompanying each song, with familiar themes running throughout each of them, despite the stylistic breadth of the songs themselves. Playing with the fact that “Marina and the Diamonds” is just the stage name of Marina Diamandis, she is at the forefront and throughout all three videos is the only person we ever directly see: in ‘Happy’, her band is there but shrouded in darkness while Diamandis is lit up and in ‘Immortal’ we just see projections of other people while she sings in the foreground. ‘Froot’ is slightly more populated: we see a number of backing dancers and a man who just sits around as nothing more than a prop, subverting the common music video trope of women as decoration. However, everybody except Diamandis stays in the shadows, their faces never properly revealed.

The projections in the ‘Immortal’ video show images of the singer playing as a child contrasted with shakily recorded home videos of older couples dancing together, all while she pines on about the unending nature of love. Just as in ‘Froot’, though, these discussions of love have no visible object; the focus never moves from Diamandis. She sings about other people but the music is decidedly about her.

Throughout the three videos, her appearance is fairly consistent and she is as immaculately styled as the songs themselves. Carrying on from her previous album, there is an overwhelming feeling of control. ‘Froot’ is an invitation to a lover to join her as she’s ‘Living la dolce vita’; ‘Happy’ is a reclamation as she sings that she has ‘Found what I was looking for in myself’; ‘Immortal’, in turn, is a celebration of a love already found that still admits that ‘Everybody dies/Chasing time’.

Each of the three singles present different facets of the coming album, which should have a wealth of subject matter united by these common themes, showing off Diamandis’ excellent songwriting and extraordinary vocal abilities. Carrying on from the themes of power within relationships on Electra Heart, we see a woman who is very much in control in these videos, and in doing so is setting the standard for modern British pop.