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Marina & The Diamonds: our next chart star?

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 10:39 UK time, Thursday, 29 October 2009

While plenty of exciting new Welsh acts come to our attention, very few actually combine talent with the genuine potential to break into the national consciousness. Marina And The Diamonds - one of the subjects of Beth's latest blog - begs to be brought into the mainstream, but on her own terms.


On Monday 16 November, her new single, Mowgli's Road, will be released on the 679 label, part of the huge Warners group. It combines ethereal vocals with an incessant electronic keyboard bounce, a great pop hook and a dark-hearted melody that at times recalls nothing less than the Doctor Who theme.

Leaving aside the overly-kooky middle eight, it's a storming single that should make anyone with a sense of drama in music sit up and pay attention. It comes on the heels of her previous single, Obsessions, which is the best song I've ever heard about having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

It tells the story of picking up packets of crackers in a shop, thinking there's something wrong with each packet and never being able to decide which one to buy. Compare that lyrical idea with Mariah Carey's forthcoming cover of I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner...

Having by all accounts given a great show at last week's Sŵn Festival , and with the support of a major record label and some slavering press coverage, Marina And The Diamonds represent a decent tilt for mainstream success that isn't that woman from Nefyn.

Watch the video for Mowgli's Road:

More links: Marina And The Diamonds on BBC Wales Music
Profile and links on BBC Music
Information and photos on BBC Introducing

Words: James McLaren


  • Comment number 1.

    I really like Marina's songs, but there was something a bit staged and sanitised about her live 'show'. Well, perhaps that's professionalism and I'm just not used to seeing / recognising it.

    It was a bit like watching someone acting out being a popstar - lots of considered mannerisms and expressions. But, again, that's no bad thing. They're the weapons by which artists manage to communicate in vast arenas.

    I think she could definitely get there.

    Obsessions, in particular, is right up there with the best pop music I've heard in years.

    Her band could try and look a little more engaged by proceedings, too.

    If they were waiting a table with that much apparent disinterest, there would be no tips.

  • Comment number 2.

    I'm actually annoyed with myself for being ill and missing Swn, but in particular this gig. From what I've heard and seen of Marina, she's doing something pretty fresh and new. The video to Mowgli's Road's a good'un too.

  • Comment number 3.

    I couldn't agree more with Adam Walton. Gig at Swn was very polished but almost too much so ... felt like that exact gig had been pretty much played through a hundred times before. Plus I'm no fan of pre-recorded backing vocals magically appearing out of the air at a live gig. Meanwhile, the band just looked like very bored session musicians (not diamonds!)

    BUT BUT BUT ... all that said, Marina has an amazing voice, obvious charisma and writes incredibly catchy songs, so I have no doubt she will go far - and hope that she does :)


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