Finding a Diamond
by Iryna Byelyayeva
I didn’t like London, in the end. Maybe that was exactly the problem—the fact that I was in London at the end of a long trip and I was so tired. Tired and popping my glandular-fever cherry. Everything hurt, it was cold and I was ready to go home. No matter what I did during the day I somehow kept ending up on Oxford Street which, on a good day, I’m sure is a fun, lively place to be but not when you’re after calm. Oxford Street is busy and loud and the buildings are lined together so tightly you can’t breathe. Not even all the Christmas decorations and a plastic cup with strawberries (the only fresh fruit I was able to find in a couple of days) made me feel better. I was not ‘living life dolce vita’.
As always, there is nothing more calming than a record store. I saw an HMV across the street and decided to go in. Downstairs was just as terrible as outside: it was cramped, there was loud music playing and heaps of people looking at DVDs and games. Then I saw my rolling stairway to heaven, or an oasis at least. I got on the escalator hoping it would be quieter upstairs.
Side note: as I was writing this part of the piece, and listening to the album to jog my memory, Maria started singing ‘oh my body is ready, yeah it’s ready … for your love.’ She’s just a wonderful psychic.
Upstairs was the music section and, what do you know, it was calmer, there were fewer people and I felt like I could breathe fully. I set about deciding what album would cheer me up with even the thought of knowing that I would be able to play it when I got back home. God, I wanted to go home. I was walking around, unenthusiastically holding Adele, not because I have anything against Adele, but buying her album never feels like the right thing to do for some reason. Then I saw a little flash of neon colours on black on a spine and that was all I needed.
I love Froot (2015). I know that of the three Marina and the Diamonds albums it’s musically the least interesting and doesn’t play with character as much, but I think Froot is just such a classy pop album. Not only is it upbeat, shows off all the wonderful tones in Marina Diamandis’s voice and doesn’t have a single weak link, but this album is fifty minutes of songs about being unashamed and owning your feelings. ‘Blue’ is about accepting you only want a relationship for the validation it brings, ‘Can’t Pin Me Down’ is all about being your own person, and the majestic ‘Froot’ is about taking pleasure in all the riches life offers. As someone on Pintrest so elegantly put it—The Family Jewels (2010) is about hating yourself, Electra Heart (2012) is about fighting with yourself and Froot is about accepting yourself. Every song makes you want to sing along and mean what you’re belting out. This album may be a little more conventional genre-wise but I’m so infatuated with a mature and glamorous Marina. This album goes hand in hand with those gorgeously lit photos of her in various silk dresses with 40s hair blowing back.
Needless to say I bought Froot and everything felt easier. I strutted down Oxford Street, with my little HMV tote bag like the basic music bitch that I am feeling glamorous and happy. I was bringing back a little part of my personality for my shelves back home.
Iryna is a creative lady living in Melbourne, Australia. She is the editor of The Wall Mag and gets published here and there. She can be followed on twitter @irynabyel