If you've yet to fall in love with Marina Diamondis aka Marina & the Diamonds, now's the time to get smitten. Not only does the Welsh-Greek beauty have enviable pipes and a theatrical style all her own, she does wonders with Christmas staples that would otherwise put you to sleep. Exhibit A: Her classed-up/stripped-down take on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," which she filmed for MTV's "12 Ho
When asked what inspired the arresting cover, Marina replied, "It was between 'Amazing Grace' or that." But when pressed to dig deeper, she admitted the arrangement had more to do with her vocal style than personal preference. Mind you, she opened for Katy Perry on her "California Girls" tour. "It's down to what will suit your voice or the arrangement," she said, before explaining that she has never received formal training in music. "All the signs in my life were not pointing to me becoming a pop artist, so for me, I'm still learning what my song identity and voice is."
That maturing process was readily apparent early this spring, when she suffered a vocal injury and "discovered a completely new way of singing in a softer manner" so she could keep up with her hectic touring schedule, including a six-week opening gig with Coldplay. Now that she's come to "know her voice a little better," she's feeling more assured with the downbeat sound and envisions a stark departure from her latest record, Electra Heart.
"I like songs that are kind of melancholy, and the chord progression [on 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'] is kind of melancholic," she said. "It captures that sentiment of real Christmas time and what it means to have your family and friends around you, as opposed to it being cheesy or trashy. It's one of the most traditional songs."
In this case, the song is all hers.