Fredrik Etoall Caroline Hjelt, half of Swedish electropop duo Icona Pop,…
- Posted on Jul 7th 2010 3:30PM by Melinda Newman
"This one gig out of the 180 I'm doing this year made me [nervous]," she said a few songs in to her hour-long set of New Wave-influenced pop. "But you're really lovely."
The same can be said of 24-year-old Marina Diamandis (the Diamonds refer to her last name and her fans, not her band). She commanded the audience's attention from her first moment onstage and overcame any potential awkwardness (as an early request for a sing-along fell flat, although patrons gladly joined in on 'Hollywood'). With her exotic movie-star looks -- enhanced by a deep tan, DayGlo lipstick and nail polish -- Marina cut a striking figure onstage, but seemed totally approachable in her black T-shirt and white overalls.
While she may seem down to earth, her voice can only be described as otherworldly. On such tracks as first single, 'I Am Not a Robot' and crowd favorite 'Obsessions,' her mellifluous, soaring vocals defy gravity as they swoops and swell around the notes. While many have rightfully compared her to Kate Bush, she is just as much a musical daughter of Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Whether accompanied by her three-piece band on keyboard, bass and drums or solo on keyboards, she presented a flair that is missing among many of today's singer-songwriters. She seemingly bridges the gap between the earnest types like Sara Bareilles and the grand spectacle of Lady Gaga.
As she sang the funny, quirky 'Hollywood,' she donned glasses shaped like dollar signs and held a huge, fake hamburger aloft like a modern-day Statue of Liberty, before bouncing energetically into the cynical take on life in this town.
Much of her material last night, taken from her new US album, 'The Family Jewels,' -- she has released three previous EPs -- treads the familiar ground of love's twists and turns, but she, herself, is as much the villain as the victim, as she sings, "L-O-V-E is another word I'll never learn to pronounce."
By the time she returned for an encore of the sprightly 'Oh No,' swaddling herself in a orange crocheted baby blanket with a bear's head on top and feeling the warm embrace of the crowd, one thing was clear: she may not be able to pronounce "love," but there was no doubt she knew how to dole it out and receive it.