When MARINA released her double album 'Love + Fear' in 2019, we were treated to a new side to her sound. While her work previously showed her as a glittering and glossy pop icon on the scene, this collection focused on a more humbled and adventurous side to her as she began to experiment with more outlandish and solemn directions in equal measure. But after a few years to figure out where to go next, she has returned with her fifth full-length 'Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land', a record that is more explorative than we could have imagined.
From the very start, 'Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land' is a bold and blistering release that sees her where her influences on her sleeve. The most recent single 'Venus Fly Trap' could well have been lifted from Duran Duran's back catalogue, while 'Man's World' sees her channel her inner Kate Bush throughout. It is this clear approach to the era that she is looking to emulate that makes it a fascinating listen, and shows that she is still very keen on exploring new ideas and aesthetics to create her music, something that we rarely see from other artists in her position.
'Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land' is no doubt a progressive step forward for her, but is sometimes held back by its lack of a focused direction, giving it a more ramshackle feel than she originally intended. Nevertheless, it still ticks all the right boxes, and shows us that she is still very much on a committed pursuit of shimmering pop anthems.