"I Had Grown Wild" is the culminative EP in a series of releases that began in 2014, and is the followup to the success My Brightest Diamond's 2014 full-length "This Is My Hand." This EP of five tracks includes two new original songs from MBD, and a remix of "This Is My Hand" in both English and French.
The EP begins and ends with a minimalist but driving remix of the LP's title track, "This Is My Hand," first sung in French, then in English. "Say What", inspired by a poem by Staceyann Chin, recontextualizes images from Billy Holiday's "Strange Fruit" and issues a challenge to compare and contrast the experience of black and white Americans. Continuing on the subject of children, "Bronze Head" lets off the steam with text taken directly from William Butler Yeats' poem by the same name. Birth, the body, and the afterlife all take their places on this EP, with the concluding song "Apparition". Since first singing Stephane (2 accents needed) Mallarme's poem set by Claude Debussy for the song cycle "Quatre chansons de jeunesse" in college when she was studying classical voice, Shara fell in love with the image of the ghost who with glowing hair who leaves behind a trail of white bouquets of perfumed stars.
This Is My Hand is a journey beyond the composition of music. "I had this 'back-to-basics' moment of reading how humans were making sounds before we were using words," says Shara. The opening track on This Is My Hand, 'Pressure,' is an invitation. Within seconds of lowering the needle, listeners hear a sharp, drum-rolled call to attention, courtesy of the Detroit Party Marching Band. What follows is a Shara-choreographed whirlwind of horns, woodwinds, beats, xylophones and synths. The ensuing 'Before the Words' ("Before the verse there was the sound") and the title track are no less direct in exploring and defining the fundamentals of not just pop music, but, well, life. "This is my voice/ this is my heart / this is my choice," sings Shara. 'Apparition,' the final track, is a Tron-like electronic, slow-motion departure from the physical world. Produced by Shara herself and keyboardist Zac Rae, This Is My Hand is a bold chapter in the unfurling MBD story. Its exploration of music and its rhythmic urgency escort Shara's chamber-music aesthetic out of the chamber and back into the dance hall and rock bar.
The more influences My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden absorbs from the world around her, the less she sounds like anybody else.
Still, It's worth noting the strange paths these five new tracks took on their way to None More than You, My Brightest Diamond's latest EP. The lullaby "Dreaming Awake" was originally performed as a duet with circular-breathing sax titan Colin Stetson. It opens this disc in a tense, minimal Son Lux Mix, but Lux's raw electronic treatment only draws more attention to Worden's achingly tender vocal performance. Meanwhile, the layered orchestral arrangement on the flipside's Mason Jar Mix was created for an improbable guerrilla recording session that brought the cops to a decaying power station in Yonkers - but this richly detailed accompaniment only brings out the raw urgency of her songwriting.
"Dreams Don't Look Like" originated as silent movie music, an extract from Worden's score for The Balloonatic by Buster Keaton. "That Point When," a song Worden initially arranged to sing with the Orchestra for The Next Century, defies gravity too: musically and lyrically ambiguous, majestically lighter-than-air.
In fall of 2014, Asthmatic Kitty Records will release My Brightest Diamond's fourth full-length, This Is My Hand.
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 collaborations with indie rock royalty (Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, David Bryne, The Decemberists, and The National) 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.
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. 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.
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The music of My Brightest Diamond lends itself well to remixes. Shara Worden's exquisite voice provides the perfect lead (or backing track) for any sort of deconstructing or restructuring of her original music. My Brightest Diamond and Asthmatic Kitty desired to create a cohesive and conceptual project as opposed to a mere remix album. They brought on four remixers (Alfred Brown, DM Stith, Son Lux and Roberto Carlos Lange (Epstein, Savath and Savalas, ROM) and commissioned them to each create a separate EP of remixed material. The EPs are beautifully packaged and hand numbered (edition of 1500) and signed by Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond.
Two years after the world formally met her via her acclaimed debut, Bring Me the Workhorse, Brooklyn, NY’s My Brightest Diamond â€“ spearheaded by Shara Worden â€“ has been established as one of independent music’s most vibrant, creative and original voices. And with A Thousand Shark’s Teeth, Diamond’s incredible, breathtaking sophomore release, we are all instantly reminded once more of Shara Worden’s undeniable talent.
Charming, playful, daring, foreboding, graceful, eclectic, exciting and visceral: these are all the first words that come to mind after a full listen through 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. The record, which was mixed by Husky Höskulds (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello), was recorded in Berlin, Los Angeles and New York City, and features twenty different players all contributing little bits of musical magic. 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 â€“ marimbas, harps, clarinets, French horns, rabid guitars, vibraphones to name a few â€“ to create an unequaled amalgamation of style and color. In simple terms: it’s beautiful, and there’s nothing else quite like it.
My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden has decided to set loose her bobby pins and let her hair fly on the ambient dance floor. Her latest semi-collaboration with 13 different remixers, entitled “Tear It Down”, reworks songs from the highly acclaimed album, “Bring Me The Workhorse” featuring tracks by Alias, Lusine, Murcof, Stakka and Gold Chains. Oh, it’s international too! With diplomatic representatives from Belgium, France, Mexico, The UK and America (East and West Coasts baby!), the remixes range from drum-n-bass, to glitchy ambient, minimalism, and get-your-booty-on-the-dance-floor club music.
My Brightest Diamond is Shara Worden, a trained opera singer turned pop songwriter. Her debut album, Bring Me The Workhorse courageously gathers all the essential elements of classical and pop music to fashion an album that reflects upon the sublime elements of both worlds. These songs are simultaneously gentle and urgent, evoking moments of tremendous joy and sorrow with the magnitude of Italian opera and the modesty of a Japanese haiku. The songwriting blurs the lines between rock show and recital, incorporating the contrapuntal elements of a baroque love song alongside love ballads and rock anthems. Her vocal lines reached for Puccini, while her guitar style is more akin to Blonde Redhead or PJ Harvey. The center of gravity here is the workmanship of a woman whose imagination has no limits.