The Greco-Welsh singer, a singular artist who goes by a plural name, performed tunes that are catchier than a lot of today’s assembly-line, song-doctored dance-pop. (Kyle Gustafson/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Who is Marina and the Diamonds? That question is grammatically correct, since the singer is one of those solo acts who has assumed a plural name. Unlike some indie-pop obscurantists, however, Marina, et al., doesn’t cloak herself in a fake-band identity. Tuesday night at a sold-out 9:30 Club, the Greco-Welsh performer (a.k.a. Marina Diamandis) identified herself repeatedly in first-
person pronouncements.

Backed by a keyboard-heavy quintet, Diamandis sang that “I’m radioactive,” “I am not a robot,” “They call me homewrecker,” “I wanna be a bottle blonde” and — with no apologies to the onetime D.C. punk band — “I wish I’d been a teen idle.” Most of these identities are playful fictions, of course, but they reflect a former small-town girl’s genuine fascination with show-biz glamour and bygone Hollywood goddesses. People may not actually call Diamandis “homewrecker,” but between her moderately successful debut album and its much more popular follow-up, she really did become a bottle blonde.

This new female-drag-queen persona is reflected in the title of her second album, “Electra Heart,” which blazed behind her in neon. The lettering was pink, of course, like much of the singer’s 1950s-inspired wardrobe. Sunglasses, a diaphanous dressing gown and a bridal-style veil supplemented her poufy-
skirted dresses. The performer’s costume changes elicited almost as much audience rapture as the choruses of her best-loved tunes.

As for those tunes, they’re catchier than a lot of today’s assembly-line, song-doctored dance-pop. Diamandis is basically the U.K. Katy Perry, but her material sounds fresher than Perry’s, perhaps because it draws from smarter (and non-American) sources. The talk-sung part of “Homewrecker” echoed the Pet Shop Boys, for example, while the rhythm-guitar strum that drove “How to Be a Heartbreaker” was pure Go-
Betweens. (And does the soprano sometimes trill like Kate Bush? Well, of course.) The hooks worked, and the refrains earned the sing-a-longs they demanded. But the wit of quieter songs such as “Teen Idle,” whose title phrase near-rhymed with both “Bible” and “suicidal,” was mostly overpowered by the brassier aspects of Diamandis’s act.

Jenkins is a freelance writer.