It’s a dangerous choice to kickoff an album rollout with a ballad; you never know if the masses are going to ride for it or dismiss it entirely. But MARINA (formerly “of the Diamonds”) has never been one to submit to pop conventions. “Handmade Heaven,” the lead single from her fourth album, LOVE + FEAR, bridges the gap between this new record and 2015’s FROOT fairly well. With its atmospheric production and elegant vocals, the singer sounds as confident as ever in her musical direction.
In the vein of FROOT opener “Happy,” “Handmade Heaven” revolves around MARINA finding herself. She begins the track feeling envious of small creatures like birds and squirrels “living out their lives so purposefully;” it picks up in the chorus, where the singer declares that she has come alive in the titular paradise. The bridge sees her abandoning this life for something more, which can probably be interpreted as a return of her passion for music. In fact, the whole song feels like a double (or even triple) entendre about the singer’s feelings about her career and her fans, which she has openly discussed in the lead-up to the release. Either way, “Handmade Heaven” is a pleasurable return to form that everyone should get behind.