24 MARINA: Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land

2019 #79, 2015 #37, 2010 #8

Dunka-dada, dunka-dada, dunka-dada, dunka-dada, dunka-dada, dunka-dada:



Na, na-na naaaaar! Na-na-ni-n-ni-na!


Sigh, remember the good old days of this blog? I would have definitely have illustrated that with photos of me singing it shirtless, wouldn’t I? Maybe even make a YouTube video. I’d sing songs shirtless at the drop of a fart back in those days, wouldn’t I? I barely even illustrate my posts with selfies any more, and that used to be near enough all I’d do.

I was just a lot more confident back then. I was a walking electric boogaloo of self-confidence and I honestly didn’t care about what anyone thought, I didn’t care how inherently weird it so obviously was, and I didn’t care that, come on, I hardly possess a face so handsome or a body so jacked that people would flock to see low resolution Kindle Fire photos of, but I didn’t care, the silliness and the audacity made me happy. Well, did you notice how they started to drop off last year? Yeah, sorry to bring everything back to my marriage (it was kind of a big deal for me. I know, epic cringe balls, innit?), but my wife began questioning things like that, telling me how embarrassed she was by my blog, saying how the amount of pictures I took was an obvious sign of narcissism, and making me promise to delete this terrible old thing if we ever had children. I mean… fair points, I guess… It was just weird to be pulled up on it for the first time by the person I was married to. I was suddenly in a world where I was questioning the things that made me happy, wondering how dumb and stupid I must look, and I’ve been constantly questioning and second guessing myself ever since. The lunacy will return, I’m sure, it’s just going to be hard to shake off these little insecurities that have been planted inside me.

MARINA went through a smilar crisis of confidence with…

Holy shit, honestly you guys, I didn’t even mean for that intro to be a segway, I just wanted to vent and whinge a little and then –whoosh!! – I realised I’d walked right into one. This… power… this power of journalism I have, it’s like it simply surges through my blood. Honestly, it actually scares me sometimes, and it’s actually quite humbling to imagine what I’m capable of. But with great power, comes great responsibility, so I should finish writing this post

MARINA went through a similar crisis of confidence with her last album, the indistinct and uninspired ‘Love + Fear’, was an apprehensive and anxious bum note. Marina and the Diamonds, that most colourful and stylistically queer musical act, with no sense of reticence in how she would loudly attack conservatism with audaciously sized glitter guns, always with a Daliesque sense of the absurd, had obviously reached some sort of midlife crisis where she worried even the ‘and the Diamonds’ suffix was unbecoming of someone of her maturity. ‘Love + Fear’ came encased in a monochrome sleeve, the songs were listless and unimaginative, and rather than bring to mind the comforting maturity and middle aged Radio 2 assuredness she might have hoped it would, her mononymous debut instead just sounded limp, confused and feckless.

Well, on her second/fifth album, guess who’s back, baby!! That stomping and possibly problematically named glitterbeat intro to the opening title track brazenly signifies that MARINA has her head back in the game. The colours are back, the self-aware self-agrandising is back, the anger is back. ‘Ancient Dreams…’ is like MARINA took stock of the patriarchy only solidifying in the world around her, and laws and restrictions tightening further on anyone who isn’t a cis heterosexual man, and realised what a bad reading of the room an album as self absorbed, as apolitical, as dang straight as ‘Love + Fear’ was. The sounds and songs on her new album are big, infectious, and unapologetic, and the lyrics are back to being as equal parts revolutionary and cringeworthy at the verified star at her very best. Most importantly, MARINA sounds silly again, she’s not chronically insecure about how her silliness will look or second guessing her lunacy as she was on her previous album, and ‘Ancient Dreams…’is a filthily enjoyable emancipation as a result.

Me? Next Hotelier album, that’s when I’ll find my mojo again. I promise. Seriously, it’s been 2,029 days since the last one, those fuckers are killing me…

4 thoughts on “24 MARINA: Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land

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