MARINA tackles femininity and stands up against oppression in a way that only she can. The indie-pop icon released her 5th studio album titled Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land on June 11th. The 35-year old Welsh singer has never been one to come across half-hearted on her music, whether she’s addressing depression on the opening track “Happy” on her 2015 release Froot or the disheartening effects of fame on “Are You Satisfied?”. Marina Diamandis’s latest album is no exception, as she finds herself entering into a new stage in her career after 12 years of defying what a pop star should sound like.
In the summer of 2019 coming off the release of Love + Fear Diamanids made a post on social media searching for the best and brightest female collaborators for her next project, saying “I’m creating my next project…and this story can only be told by women,”. As a result, Grammy-award-winning audio engineer Emily Lazar and producer Jenn Decilveo jumped on board, receiving production credits on multiple tracks. Throughout Diamandis’s career, she has been forced to navigate through an industry where women are underrepresented. In a 2020 interview with Vogue, she stated that women are discriminated against “by discrediting their work or picking something out about their physical appearance or lifestyle.”. Read about the oppression that women in the middle east are discriminated against in this HOLR article.
Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land takes the subject of oppression and covers it with glitter and sparkles. The 10-song album kicks off with the title track bashing against all the distorted standards that women are held against over a fast-paced electro-pop beat. Sociopolitical lyrics are sprinkled throughout the album, like on the track “Man’s world” where Diamandis references the Sultan of Brunei who imposed the death penalty for gay men. The album reaches a peak with the 4th track where Diamandis speculates over the double standards that women face with lyrics like “I just want a world where I can see the feminine, We only make up one-quarter of the government”. In the midst of all the girl boss energy, Diamandis finds time to slow things down with a couple of piano ballads layered through the album that showcase her vocal range.
Diamandis took her inspirations such as the female empowerment book “If Women Rose Rooted” and neoclassical 1800’s paintings by John William Godward and translated them into the album. Throughout Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land Diamandis never crosses the line into preachy, delivering a blend of high energy and slower more intimate moments. She is not trying to please anyone at this point in her career, she has solidified herself and is using the platform to raise awareness about something that she is passionate about. The Billboard charts have no appeal for her, as she would rather make music for herself than chase fame. Click here to grab tickets for her upcoming 2022 tour.