When it was time to figure out how to present her latest album, Marina Diamandis was drawn to the work of psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Best known for her model for the five stages of grief, Kubler-Ross also theorized that all human emotions come from either love or fear.
With that in mind, Diamandis (who performs under the mononym Marina) named her fourth album “Love + Fear,” splitting the 16 tracks depending on which emotion drove the song’s creation. The 33-year-old says that “nothing’s ever perfect” and that some songs “could go either way.” Take “Handmade Heaven,” the stirring, slow motion synth-pop number that opens the album.
“It’s quite a sad song: thinking about the Earth, pre-human destruction, feeling such a longing to be in a place where nature is allowed to thrive,” she explains. It could have easily gone on “Fear,” but, she adds with a laugh, “I try to think of things in a positive way when it comes to humanity.”
Diamandis has been thinking about humanity (musically, at least) since the beginning of the decade. Formerly performing as Marina and the Diamonds, the British talent established herself as a pop singer-songwriter with something to say, whether about feminism, commercialism, love, lust or identity, her weighty mezzo-soprano doing gymnastics on electro-pop balance beams.
But spending her 20s in the public eye — as expectations and demands of pop stars evolved and devolved — took its toll. That public-private divide was partially behind her decision to drop “the Diamonds” from her moniker.
“Once you get into your 30s, you’re able to see yourself in a much bolder light,” she says. “I realized up until that point, there was no integration between who I presented myself as an artist and who I was naturally as a human being.”
Show: Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Anthem , 901 Wharf St. SW. $45-$75.