Marina and the Diamonds

Friday • Bogart’s

click to enlarge Marina and The Diamonds
Marina and The Diamonds

It’s oddly wonderful how sometimes two songwriters will interpret the same concept in diametrically opposed fashions. For example, consider Pharrell Williams and Marina Diamandis, both of whom have very powerful songs called “Happy.”

Of course, Williams’ composition is the musical manifestation of exuberance and joy, a bouncy sing-along that almost dares you to remain passive while it jukes and swings. Diamandis’ “Happy,” the opening track on Froot, the third Marina and the Diamonds album, couldn’t be more different. A quietly moving, slightly melancholy reflection on the subject of finding the title emotion in making music, “Happy” — and much of Froot — hovers in the vicinity of Florence + the Machine and Aimee Mann, with wisps of Kate Bush’s ephemeral eccentricity and Annie Lennox’s arty populism creating an Electropop shimmer that could easily appeal to fans of Sara Bareilles or Lady Gaga.

Diamandis began Marina and the Diamonds in her native Wales a decade ago after several failed auditions, christening herself with a band name even though she was the only member (the Diamonds referred to her loyal fans). Diamandis produced her first demos on GarageBand and released her debut EP, Mermaid vs. Sailor, through MySpace in 2007, resulting in a recording contract and the U.K. opening slot for up-and-comer Gotye.

Diamandis’ sophomore EP and debut single in 2009, as well as festival appearances at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, Reading, Leeds and Glastonbury, exposed her to a broader audience and earned her a second-place ranking in the BBC’s Sound of 2010 poll (Ellie Goulding took the top spot). Diamandis’ full-length debut, The Family Jewels, entered the U.K. charts at No. 5, while its concept album follow-up, 2012’s Electra Heart, debuted at No. 1.

This year has seen the rise of Froot, with Diamandis’ highest U.S. chart position so far (it entered the charts at No. 8), and appearances at Brazil’s Lollapalooza and California’s Coachella Festival. In addition to music, Diamandis is a style icon in England; she designed a window display for the renowned Selfridges department store in 2010, occupying the window as a living mannequin, and she launched the 11 Diamonds clothing line in 2013. If she branches into potato-shaped hats, she might wind up every bit as happy as Pharrell.


See MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS 7 p.m. Friday at Bogart's. Get more information and purchase tickets here.


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