If you ask anyone who’s met me, they’ll tell you that my favorite artist is Marina and the Diamonds. I became enraptured after first listening to her second album, “Electra Heart,” and viewing the brilliant album visuals, which included almost a dozen music videos. There’s been no going back. I had the opportunity to meet her after an intimate show in Brooklyn, and it was definitely one of the most incredible moments of my life. After her tour for her exceptional 2015 album “Froot,” Marina took another one of her usual hiatuses from the music industry. However, this one seemed permanent.
Two weeks ago, her song “I’m Not Hungry Any- more” leaked, which resulted in mass waves of tears from Marina fans. The track was one of the three cut from “Froot.” While I am all for respecting artistic integrity and not listening to leaks, I was desperate to hear anything from the elusive Marina. “Disconnect,” her song with Clean Bandit, had been released in July, but it felt forced— unfinished, perhaps. It was only released so fans of Marina would stop sending death threats to Clean Bandit for waiting two years to release the track after they had performed it in 2015 at Coachella with Marina. No, I’m not kidding.
I think “Disconnect” is obviously excellent because it was written by Marina, but it left me wanting so much more. Then came this leak. “I’m Not Hungry Anymore” was everything I had been craving from the artist. It’s very similar to the groundbreaking track “Savages” on “Froot,” with overwhelming instrumentals, Marina’s typical brass and her scolding vocals directed at those who have wronged her. Marina had thought about a deluxe edition for the album, but like most of her ventures, it didn’t come to fruition. The leak of “I’m Not Hungry Anymore” feels like the warm return of a truly immaculate artist, like a pumpkin spice latte in the midst of a chilly fall day. Yes, I am aware of how basic that sounds, but let me live.
The hook, “That chip on my shoulder is almost gone / And that savage desire to belong. I always thought that I would die / If I didn’t have you by my side. But I’ve changed my mind / Yeah, I’ve changed my mind.” is indicative of her current mindset. The track details Marina’s complicated relationship with the music industry, as she has always said she doesn’t want to be considered a celebrity. Additionally, it focuses on how she has grown as a person between the “Electra Heart” and “Froot” eras, as she was in a difficult relation- ship during her second album, one that left her spiritless. However, as shown in this track and others such as “Happy,” Marina has found that she doesn’t need to rely on others for her happiness, but rather that happiness comes from within.
Its brilliant chorus begins, “Been feeling like myself more than ever before / And now I don’t even know what I need you for. Been feeling like myself more than ever before / And now I’m not hungry / I’m not hungry for love, your love any- more.” Now, obviously the track is unfinished at the production level, but it is 90 percent there. I cannot give the song a rating, though, because there’s no way of knowing whether this is what Marina wanted the song to sound like when it was finished.
Now, you shouldn’t have a discussion about a leaked song without discussing the relationship between artist and listener. Fans should respect the right for an artist to release music at their own pace, as everyone is different. You might get a quickly-produced Drake or Taylor album in a feeble attempt to maintain their relevancy, but artists like Marina, Lorde and Frank Ocean take their time to tell a story lyrically.
Lorde mentioned on Twitter that it might take 10 years for her to release another album and that it is not about rushing to release something because these albums do not exist on one plane. They are supercellular, with accompanying visuals and storylines. This creates such a special relationship, one that transcends music. When I’m listening to Marina or Lorde, I feel as though I’m sitting at the piano next to them, eagerly taking in their heartbreak and melodrama.
In the past three years, Marina has incrementally moved farther away from her music persona and even changed her stage name to her real name, Marina Diamandis. She is not one to post on Instagram each day but rather tries to live life outside of social media. She has created a blog discussing loneliness and attempting to find oneself, which can be found at marinabook.uk.net. It’s wonderful to be able to catch a glimpse at what this artist thinks about beyond music, and I know it has helped some of my friends who suffer from similar feelings.
I know that if Marina knew that one of her songs leaked, she would be deeply upset. While other songs from past eras have emerged onto the Internet, one being “Buy the Stars,” my favorite song of all time, this feels different. Maybe it’s the amount of time between albums or the changing relationship between Marina and her fans, but I feel some semblance of guilt whenever I listen to the track. She curates everything she puts out into the world, and she wouldn’t want an unfinished work that she deemed unfit for release in the hands of her listeners.
Does this mean that I’ll stop listening to the track? No, I am honestly not strong enough. But I respect Marina as an artist and as a person, and if she wants to take 10 years to produce another album or never release music again, I’ll be okay. I am just grateful for her presence in my life, as she truly has shaped some of my most definitive years so far. From trying to understand myself in high school to the confusing nature of coming to college, Marina has been there for me. I wouldn’t sleep in a tent at the end of wintertime in Brook-lyn in an attempt to get tickets for any other artist. I’ll love her forever.