Throughout 2012, Miranda Diamandis, better known by her stage name Marina and the Diamonds, was easily recognizable by her doll-like outfits, bleached hair, and signature heart makeup under her left eye. But that Madonna-circa-Like-A-Virgin persona the then-22-year-old wholeheartedly embraced for the release of her last critically acclaimed album, Electra Heart, has been cast aside in favor of a more mature look and equally elevated sound. "I think that part of me is gone," she confesses to InStyle.
The Welsh singer's new album, Froot, out today, is a natural progression from the '80s New Wave pop sound she's become known for. With tinges of Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera, the 12 songs range from dreary, melancholic ballads to pulsating dance tracks, each one encapsulating a new period in her career that marks a swift departure from the bygone days of her alter-ego. We caught up with Diamandis at our N.Y.C. office before her album's release and subsequent performances at SXSW, Coachella, and Governor’s Ball. Here's an excerpt from our conversation:
It's been almost three years since Electra Heart. What happened to your alter ego?
It was a very campy, theatrical project. After a while, I was done with it. I've always been interested in how your look can define your identity, and I think a woman can have many sides of herself. Electra Heart was extremely helpful in terms of songwriting, because I made a conscious effort to make a commercial pop album where I had creative control, but it's quite difficult to do that when you're working with big producers who follow the popular sounds of the time.
Is that why you decided to co-produce Froot?
Yes. I didn't have any collaborators; it was very important to me. This album is extremely different.
Did you adopt an archetypal character this time around?
Not for this album. I love to perform, so there will always be that very energetic element in terms of my presence onstage, but it's a big relief to not have to wear loads of makeup everyday. It was so limiting, because you can't stray from that look if you're trying to be someone else.
When you were playing the role of Electra Heart, did you have to cake on makeup every time you left the house?
Yes, my god—the anxiety! I had to, because if a fan ever saw me without that f****** heart on my cheek, it would go on Instagram. Now it feels very effortless and easy.
How about in terms of clothing? Would you say your style has changed since Electra Heart?
It definitely has changed. I'm 29 now, and when I started I was 22, so in that time I think I've learned how to simplify my outfits. When I see pictures from when I first started out, I have seven different looks going on in one outfit, whereas now, I have a much more stable approach to dressing. I chucked out everything after Electra Heart. It was like 11 garbage bags of pink fluff.
Whose style do you admire?
My mum. I'm channeling her look in the '70s these days. Her style was a bit masculine but very simple.
Where do you like to shop?
I'm a big fan of eBay, particularly for suits. If you search for vintage, you get a completely different shape than you would get in the shops right now. I got a nice Stella McCartney suit recently. If I'm on High Street, I like Topshop, Russell & Bromley, COS, and & Other Stories.
Watch the video for “Forget” below, and buy Froot for $8 on the iTunes Store.