Label: Neon Gold Records Release Date: 16/2/09 Link: www.myspace.com/marinaandthediamonds “Sunday, wake up, give me a cigarette/Last night’s love affair is looking vulnerable in my bed” Her love affair isn’t the only vulnerable thing Welsh singer (solo artist, not band) Marina Diamond has got on offer, with a voice that enunciates every word in a crackled whisper laden with vulnerability, glamour and disdain. That may sound like a lot to pack in, but Diamond follows one-woman powerhouses of eccentricity like Kate Bush in her approach: ‘this is what I’ve got, take it or leave it’. In this case, we’ll be taking, thanks. A simple, mournful piano line and Diamond’s unique speak-singing dominates the first minute, laying out a strong but enticing pop skeleton for a thumping, walking drum beat launch in for the second verse to pick things up and make the track one you can definitely move to, after which all manner of xylophones and orchestral sound effects are introduced in the move towards climax, smooth with the production touch of Sneaker Pimps’ Liam Howe. Diamond’s adorable whackiness is most obvious in Obsessions’ lyrics, as she eccentrically charts the story of a relationship, covering everything from the frivolous (the difficulty of choosing crackers at the supermarket with a partner) to the serious (the lack of communication and empathy in relationships). Diamond’s voice increases in strength and purpose exponentially as the song bounds along at full power, before stripping itself back to where it started. It may not be love at first sight with this one, but give it a few listens and just wait…Diamond’s music will become your latest obsession.  If you’re not averse to some more synth action, make sure you check out the Pink Stallone Crush remix of said track.