Culture Pick | MARINA is not living in a ‘Man’s World’

Bianca McCarty, Contributing Writer

A long line of well-dressed concertgoers wound around the Coca-Cola Roxy in Atlanta, Georgia, Monday night. The words “MARINA: February 28,” shone in neon lights, accompanied by the clamor and excitement of the crowd below.  

Twelve years after the release of her debut album “The Family Jewels,” the music of singer-songwriter Marina Diamandis endures. In June 2021, Diamandis released her most recent album, “Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land,” and is touring to promote the album. 

Dressed in black leather pants and a black feathered top, Diamandis performed old and new hits. 

Over the span of a decadelong career, Diamandis’s musical style and public persona have shifted. Under the name Marina and the Diamonds, her music gained a strong fanbase in the early 2010s. 

“I like Marina because her vocal range is the same as mine, so her songs are very fun to sing,” said Emma Day, a UA freshman majoring in biology. “I learned the entirety of ‘The Family Jewels’ on an eight-hour road trip.” 

Her ‘Electra Heart’ album remains a staple in the alternative pop genre. Diamandis’ top three most streamed songs on Spotify — “Bubblegum B—-,” “Primadonna” and “How to be a Heartbreaker” — come from this album. 

The music of Marina and the Diamonds remains relevant within popular culture, in part due to TikTok. 

“I found Marina from TikTok around two years ago. ‘Are You Satisfied?’ was the first song of hers that I ever heard,” Day said. 

Samples of older songs, including “Are You Satisfied?” and “Hermit the Frog” have trended on TikTok, leading the younger generation to discover the music that created Diamandis’ career. 

In 2018, Diamandis changed her stage name from Marina and the Diamonds to MARINA. The change startled longtime fans who had nicknamed themselves “Diamonds,” but it ushered in a new era for Diamandis’ music. 

Diamandis told Dazed magazine that the name change was meant to remove the separation between the artist and the art. 

With a new mentality and name, Diamandis released her most recent album, “Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land,” in June 2021. 

The shift between “Ancient Dreams” and “Electra Heart” is obvious. Gone is the fame-obsessed persona of Electra. “Ancient Dreams” is unabashedly told from the perspective of Diamandis herself. 

“Ancient Dreams” mixes elements of science fiction, technology and social progress with classic themes of love and femininity. 

Synthesized beats combine with Diamandis’s clear voice to create a unique blend of futurism and timelessness. 

Singles such as “Man’s World” and “Purge the Poison” rebel against the subservient place of women in a patriarchal society. Diamandis discusses issues facing the world, such as human destruction of the environment and the prejudice minority groups face. 

Most of all, “Ancient Dreams” is genuine. 

The album boasts a maturity that earlier albums did not, and portrays a woman fully settled in her identity.

This self-confidence is evident from Diamandis’ natural stage presence. Entering to the beginning chords of “Ancient Dreams,” Diamandis commanded the stage of the Coca-Cola Roxy. 

Consisting of songs from “Ancient Dreams” as well as older albums, Diamandis’ performance was complemented by colorful LEDs and smoke. Each lyric was accompanied by Diamandis’s devoted fanbase singing alongside her.