Following a reclusion from music and her celebrity since touring in early 2016, Marina (sans “and the Diamonds”) returns to solo music with her new single “Handmade Heaven.”
Always a bit of a star on the outside of mainstream culture, Marina Diamandis has built an avid following through the use of her oftentimes ethereal pop music and characters—such as the title character “Electra Heart,” dripping in silver screen glamor, for her 2012 album which served as a vehicle to critique and analyze American domesticity. But since then, and her follow up album Froot, Marina has acknowledged the pitfalls of the rote performance of being a musician today, and the issues with the nonstop exposure musicians and celebrities have to live with in a time when fanbases stalk social media for any tidbit of information. We demand too much of our stars, and Marina took note, choosing to step back and explore herself and her experiences, journaling her psychological battles online, giving a public face to what many of us struggle with daily—this before the recent push of mental health transparency online.
In preparation of her return, Marina teased the title of the new single by changing the artwork for her top songs on Spotify, with each showing a different letter, leaving it to her sleuthing fans to piece together. In short order, her avid fanbase was able to decipher “Handmade Heaven” which premiered at Midnight this morning. In “Handmade Heaven” Marina looks to detach from the pressures and expectations of her status, turning instead to look to the simple goals and directions of the natural. Longing for bliss and ease—no pressures, no invasive and artificial species. Her voice throughout, glides along in the way it always has. Accompanied by pared back instrumentals, she bounces from hushed lows to a porcelain falsetto, oftentimes with her voice harmonizing with its copies as she sings, “I can no longer ignore/The ivy growing tall/This life don’t suit me anymore/The writing’s on the wall.” For there, and in the song, there is no drama, there’s no characters, no storyline to dominate the scene, just Marina, and her self.
Watch the music video for “Handmade Heaven” directed by Sophie Muller on YouTube.