Music Submissions: Marina and the Diamonds & Tame Impala

07/13/2010

By Angela Sobrepena

Marina and the Diamonds – “The Family Jewels

Having already gained popularity in her native UK, 24-year old Marina Diamandis (aka Marina and the Diamonds) bursts onto the US scene with her album, The Family Jewels, which debuted in the US on May 25th. On the first couple listens, it’s hard not to draw comparisons to other British singer-songwriters with a flair for the dramatic, a la Kate Bush and Florence and the Machine. But I must say, Marina does have a uniqueness to her that brings out to the pop-loving 80s child in me. Her lyrics, which at times can be quite self-deprecating, are backed with highly poppy melodies that manage to sound edgy while at the same time remain catchy enough to appeal to the mainstream. Some early standouts are her first single, “I Am A Robot” and the highly infective “Hollywood,” in which she satirizes her desire for the fame she will be sure to achieve in the coming months.

Sounds Like: a modern-day Kate Bush, perhaps
Listen To: Hollywood, Obsessions, I Am Not A Robot

Tame Impala — “Innerspeaker

Tame Impala’s front man, Kevin Parker, describes themselves as “a steady flowing psychedelic groove rock band that emphasizes dream-like melody.” They cite quite a range of artists as influences, including Cream, The Doors, Nas, and the Wu-Tang Clan, but bring to mind more of a Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles. Despite all the buzz that’s been surrounding this Aussie band’s debut album, InnerSpeaker (released May 21), I can’t seem to get into it. Their sound is a little too stoner-rock for me, and there wasn’t really anything on the 11-track album that made me go “Hey, let me put that song on repeat!” as the tracks all seem to blend into one another. I’m sure psych rock fans will love this album, and maybe in time I will warm up to this trio, but for the time being, I give them a solid “Meh.”

Listen To: Solitude Is Bliss, Desire Be Desire Go
Sounds Like: Sgt. Pepper’s-era Beatles, but not as epic