ELLE meets Marina Diamandis

As Marina Diamandis launches Electra Heart, her sophomore album, she speaks with ELLE about love, break-ups and going blonde...

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‘She’s a troll bitch from hell!’ Marina Diamandis exclaims down a phone line. The singer also known as Marina and the Diamonds isn’t complaining about a personal trainer, interviewer or anyone in her entourage. Rather, she’s describing Electra Heart, the character she concocted for her latest album.

‘She highlights all those unsavoury elements that we all have inside of us and that can come out at times, like when a relationship breaks down,’ she says.

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For her second album, Diamandis turned her songwriter’s eye from the ambition and Americana that underpinned The Family Jewels to the uglier sides of love and loneliness.

‘I wanted to write an album about love, but to present it in a much different light to what we usually hear on a pop album,’ she says. ‘Doing that through a character made me a little bit more open.’

Song names like ‘Homewrecker’, ‘Bubblegum Bitch’ and ‘Teen Idle’—a title drawn from a jumper Diamandis saw and admired in Ashish’s autumn winter 2011 show—offer clues to the post-breakup bitterness and bad behaviour described within.

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Though the material hints at her potential for darkness against club-ready beats, Diamandis decided to sing about her theme dressed as the butter-wouldn’t-melt Electra. Gone are the bold House of Holland dresses and directional black tunics Marina 1.0 might have chosen, swapped out in favour of prim vintage-inspired shifts and little lace gloves. It’s a look she says is inspired by Marilyn Monroe, Marie Antoinette and Madonna, with a platinum ‘do to match.

‘I was just sick of everything at the end of my last album,’ she says. ‘I wanted to disassociate myself with what had happened over the last year in my life by changing my image. There’s also a more superficial thing, in that I really like blonde hair and wanted to see what I would look like with it.... I really love it. I’m probably going to keep it for a year or so and go back to my roots.’

Before she considers any more radical dye jobs, Diamandis has been ordered to go on strict vocal rest until the end of May due to a vocal chord injury. Once recovered, she'll embark on her Lonely Hearts Club tour, then play her way around the European festival circuit through the summer before joining Coldplay for part of their stadium tour—all of which makes the singer the happiest she’s been in awhile, injury notwithstanding.

‘It sounds a bit cringe, but this is a very creatively satisfying time for me,’ she says. ‘I feel I’ve come into my own as an artist and I know what I am now.’

Might that mean the next Marina album could have happiness at its heart?

‘There probably wouldn’t be an album!’ she protests. ‘All artists fear being comfortable, because you’re generally not that inspired to write when you’re happy.

‘But you know what, I’m sure I’ll find some sort of tragedy to write about.’

Electra Heart is available in stores and online now. Watch the video for 'Heartbreaker' below

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