“You don’t know me like you think you do,” Marina Diamandis sings on her new album, “Love + Fear.” Though an incisive rebuke when aimed at an arrogant paramour, the line (off cyborgified dance-cut “You”) carries more weight in context.
Ahead of her fourth record, the Welsh singer-songwriter — formerly known as Marina and the Diamonds — shortened her stage name to Marina, throwing the Diamonds (her longtime nickname for fans) into a social-media tailspin. But adopting a new moniker was never intended to slight anyone. The singer, now 33, was simply signaling an artistic recalibration, designed to bring her identities as a performer and a person — then profoundly, painfully at odds — back into harmony with each other.
For Marina, doing so meant moving away from the cheeky, persona-driven electro-pop that had made her a star toward a sound more authentically her own. Correspondingly, “Love + Fear” offers some of Marina’s most serious music, with statements about political unrest (“To Be Human”) and #MeToo in the music industry (“Karma”). But it’s, joyously, an album about learning to live amid the chaos and finding happiness in oneself.
Before performing Friday at Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion, Marina spoke about her new direction and the road she traveled to find it.
Q. After your Neon Nature tour (in support of 2015 album “Froot”), you took three years away from the spotlight. What was your headspace like?
A. I’d done three albums, and I’d been doing this for about 10 years. I felt burned out. But I didn’t really know how to cope with it at that time, so my brain just processed it as, “I’m not sure if I want to be an artist any more.” It had dawned on me that, in terms of my identity, I’d never really had an integrated sense of self. So much of my life was threaded into my creativity and my reputation as an artist, so there weren’t many building blocks outside of that.
Q. You’re known for playing characters on your albums, from the industry oddball (“The Family Jewels”), to this Madonna figure cycling through pop-star archetypes (“Electra Heart”). “Love + Fear” feels different, more stripped-down and personal, but also assured.
A. It’s been nice to hear that there was this feeling of assurance [on the record], because that’s how I felt. I’d really given up and accepted a lot of my feelings by the time I did start to write again. That made it quite a calm-sounding album. I’ve read comments from fans saying like, “I wish she’d sing like she did on ‘The Family Jewels.’ ” I was 22! I felt so different emotionally, and now I’m singing from a much calmer, more grounded place.
Q. On tracks like “Handmade Heaven” and “Orange Trees,” it’s clear you find nature especially calming.
A. I feel like, the more time goes on, especially with climate change and the way our governments are reacting to that, our problems aren’t to do with the things we think they are. For example: iPhones, the Internet, social media. The root of that problem is our disconnection from nature, that we’re letting that relationship go to waste. I don’t feel like a lot of people, including myself, are aware of the natural world. On an individual level, I felt awful about that. I want more connection with nature. It’s vital to our human existence.
Q. Musicians are sometimes hailed as world travelers, but you spend each night at a venue, typically indoors. Did touring contribute to that disconnection?
A.For me, if I’ve ever felt depression, it’s been on tour — up until this point, I should say, because I’ve made changes in the way I tour, in deciding how much I want to work each year. The payoff is that you can present your work to people who are like-minded, that you can perform, but the reality of it is that if you don’t take breaks, and if you don’t tour in a way that’s conducive to mental well-being, I don’t see how you could maintain it.
Q. There’s also pressure, in many creative industries, not to slow down or surrender the spotlight once you have it. Did you deal with that at all?
A. We live in a culture where you have to promote yourself [constantly] to stay relevant or remain in people’s minds, whereas I never, ever cared or thought about that. I’ve just thought about what I want to do. I have many fears, but that isn’t one of them. Music is music. If you put a good song out, people will listen to it.
Q. What songs, for you, feel the best to perform?
A. I start my set with “Handmade Heaven.” It’s such a weird opener, because it’s not like, “Whoa! Bang! Pop!” It’s a growing, blooming ballad, essentially, but I love starting with that. It grounds me and puts me in the right headspace. I also love “Superstar,” because it comes from that calm, settled place. It feels beautiful to perform.
Q. Visually, how do you create that settled feeling on tour?
A.Nature really factors into how I structured the show. That’s the foundation of the whole tour, showing the cycle of life in nature. Flowers blooming, wheat in fields, cells fusing into each other — it starts with the genesis of life and ends with the decay. [Laughs] Which sounds negative, but it’s not.
At Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets from $29.50, www.ticketmaster.com