|My Brightest Diamond – All Things Will Unwind|
My Brightest Diamond - All Things Will Unwind
Origin: New York City, New York, USA
Record Label: Asthmatic Kitty Records
Cover art by Photographer: Denny Renshaw; Hairsculpture: Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir aka Shoplifter; Design: DM Stith
All Things Will Unwind is the third, stunning offer from Detroit based experimental pop chanteuse-My Brightest Diamond, aka Shara Worden. Known for her many colloborations with indie rock royalty as well as her extraordinary original material, Worden is coming into her own as an artist and human on this 11 song recording. At once accessible and intelligent, the songs were written exclusively for celebrated chamber ensemble yMusic (Bon Iver, Antony & the Johnsons, The New York Philharmonic & Rufus Wainwright) and they are featured on each track. Grammy award-winning Pat Dillet recorded Unwind in New York City.
“We Added it Up” opens the record with a punchy, almost Ragtime acoustic guitar, suggesting Cabaret by way of Carolina. Worden’s voice, ever mesmerizing, dances between the notes in a clever narrative of love’s opposites, then joins a rousing call and response chorus on the song’s finale. The range of influences on All Things Will Unwind are as eclectic as its’ author, but listeners will recognize hints of Roberta Flack, Regina Specktor, Edith Piaf and Antony & The Johnsons throughout the album. Inspired by becoming a mother, chats with legendary performance artist Laurie Anderson, presidential addresses, and class warfare, Worden is metabolizing her influences as only she can- with playful, profound originality.
Since recording My Brightest Diamond’s critically acclaimed sophomore album A Thousand Shark’s Teeth, Shara has returned to Detroit, where she grew up in a family of musical evangelists. She is drawing inspiration from the motor city’s unique struggles. On “High Low Middle” Worden takes us to the center of Detroit’s unemployment crisis, in a catchy, vaudevillian protest song that would make Woodie Guthrie proud:
Blinded and seein
You’re next you’re before
You’re pompous you are poor
Your hungry yet strangely your working like crazy
All Things Will Unwind is a picture of an artist maturing; considering joy and pain, beauty and horror, yet bravely standing in the tension between the two- and singing about it. The record closes with “I Have Never Loved Someone” and finds Shara dipping into her soothing alto, singing to her newborn son; the pedals of the pump organ creak under the vocal, evoking visions of a cradle gently rocking:
I have never loved someone the way I love you
I have never seen a smile like yours
And if you grow up to be king or clown or pauper,
I will say you are my favorite one in town
Yet even in a lullaby, one that could easily be a classic, Shara is still Shara:
And when I grow to be a poppy in the graveyard
I will send you all my love upon the breeze
And if the breeze won’t blow your way
…I will find some other way to tell you, you’re ok
She closes the album repeating you’re ok, against the swell of an angelic choir, assuring her son, herself, and the listener- in this world of opposites “ok” – like this remarkable album-is a well-earned triumph.
01. We Added it Up - 4:05
02. Reaching Through to the Other Side - 3:42
03. In The Beginning - 4:20
04. Escape Routes - 3:28
05. Be Brave - 4:17
06. She Does Not Brave the War - 4:05
07. Ding Dang - 2:31
08. There’s a Rat - 4:09
09. High Low Middle - 3:34
10. Everything is in Line - 4:32
11. I Have Never Loved Someone - 3:39
- Bring Me the Workhorse (2006)
- Tear It Down (2007) - remix album
- A Thousand Shark’s Teeth (2008)
- All Things Will Unwind (2011)
- Inside a Boy
- From The Top Of The World (September 23, 2008)
- "Lucky" from the OKX: A Tribute to OK Computer compilation (2007)
- "Tainted Love" from the Guilt by Association Vol. 2 compilation (2008)
- "Feeling Good" from the Dark Was the Night collection (2009)
Bio / Notes:
My Brightest Diamond is spearheaded by Shara Worden, granddaughter of an Epiphone-playing traveling evangelist, fathered by a National Accordion Champion, and mothered by a classical organist. Having a family of musical wanderers who migrated across the US every few years, the landscape and the musical influences were constantly changing. Spanish tangos, Sunday morning gospel, classical and jazz were the accompaniment to her home life. Her first song was recorded at age three and by age eight she was studying piano and performing in community musical productions.
Picking up an opera degree at the University of North Texas, Shara immersed herself in the songs of Purcell and Debussy. After college, she moved to New York City to simultaneously continue her opera studies and pursue her songwriting ambitions, releasing two albums with her band Awry. Shara began studying composition with Australian composer Padma Newsome (of Clogs / The National). After the breakup of Awry, Shara assembled a coterie of musicians to accompany her with bass and drums, strings, wine glasses, and wind chimes and thus the sound of My Brightest Diamond was formed.
A few years later, Shara met Sufjan Stevens at The Medicine Show, a variety show hosted by New York City's incendiary poet, Sage and man-about-town Joe Porn, at Arlene's Grocery. This, in turn, led to a sabbatical from her work with the Diamond, and she began doing splits and round-offs (not to mention the human pyramid) as one of the notorious Illinoisemakers.
In August of 2006 My Brightest Diamond released their first record, Bring Me The Workhorse, on Asthmatic Kitty Records to critical acclaim. The crepuscular album featured songs which distill stories to their most distressing points of contact: a phone call, an injured horse, a dragonfly caught in a spider's web. Shara’s Manicini-esque string arrangements laced with dramatic guitars and punk rock drums defined the Diamond sound. Her infatuation with theater and costumes inspired her to wear superhero capes, ball gowns, or Tudor corsets on stage, depending on her mood. Months of international touring commenced, leading Diamond to share the stage with artists such as Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists, The National, St. Vincent, Devotchka, Tim Fite, Rasputina and more.
In 2008 Diamond released their sophomore album, A Thousand Shark’s Teeth, originally meant to be a more classical, string quartet affair, the work slowly evolved and refined itself over a period of six years. Influenced by artists such as Tricky, French composer Maurice Ravel and Tom Waits, in addition to the star exploration themes of Anslem Kiefer's paintings, the imaginary landscapes of photographer Robert ParkeHarrison, films by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and Alice in Wonderland, A Thousand Shark’s Teeth is a musical snowglobe that sparkles each time you touch it. The songs, whose themes broach intimacy, kisses by moonlight, laundry, lost friendship and more, marry vast instrumentation – marimbas, harps, clarinets, French horns, rabid guitars, vibraphones to name a few – to create an unequaled amalgamation of style and color.
2009 finds Diamond in remix land again with beautiful EPs being crafted by Alfred Brown, Son Lux, Roberto Lange and (forthcoming) DM Stith. Shara joins The Decemberists on their new release The Hazards of Love in the role of the wicked fairy tree mother queen and will be touring with them throughout the year.
My Brightest Diamond is a Brooklyn band headed up by Shara Worden —"granddaughter of an Epiphone-playing traveling evangelist, fathered by a National Accordion Champion, and mothered by a classical organist." Her music and sound are as eclectic as her personal biography, and she delves into nearly every genre that's been given a name, creating a new one that hasn't. Tomorrow night her and the band will end a long tour in her hometown, New York, with a show at (Le) Poisson Rouge.
Photo by James Slovonov.
More on: http://gothamist.com/2008/12/12/shara_worden_my_brightest_diamond.php
This is a photo from Julien Bourgeois´s album
Author: Michel Dhersin
Author: Michel Dhersin
Author: Michel Dhersin
Author: Michel Dhersin
Look at the Birdie / Hotel Café
Shara Worden. Photo: Julien Bourgeois.
I have a confession to make. The first time I hung out with Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond about two years ago, I was really only there because my brother said we would be flying kites. I figured I could set aside my antisocial tendencies for a day of harnessing the sky. I lucked out: I got to fly a kite, and I now have had the honor of knowing and working and singing and stomping with Shara.
In a world that seems hell-bent on repetition, My Brightest Diamond challenges the cyclical parameters of self containment, continually experimenting with new ways of addressing song structure, instrumentation, and performance. The MBD trapeze swings multi-dimensionally between operatic lungs, guttural guitar chugging, sweeping strings, dark-hearted moans, plucky pigeons dancing, and rock ‘n’ roll sweat on the tom-tom of destiny. Amidst all of these seemingly disparate elements, there is a natural cohesion. What other folks have attempted to force together with varying results, MBD combines effortlessly; hammering sparks and smelting hearts in the magnetic fires of supernatural metallurgy.
If it weren’t already obvious, I think MBD is all kinds of great. So, when it was suggested that I spend some time talking to Shara about what MBD has been up to, I didn’t ask, “Will there be kites?” I just said, “Yes!”
Original page: http://bombsite.com/issues/999/articles/3279
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