Artist: My Brightest Diamond
Album: This Is My Hand
Label: Asthmatic Kitty / Cargo Records
As the singer-songwriter and multi-intrumentalist behind MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND, Shara Worden has earned her reputation as a composer of popular songs with a chamber-music intimacy. The emotional intimacy of “This Is My Hand”, the new and fourth MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND LP released 12th September on Asthmatic Kitty, and “None More Than You”, a companion EP coming out this summer, are unmistakable, but this latest iteration of the MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND project has opened the project up to vast new sonic possibilities.
MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND’s musical metamorphosis comes straight out of recent, radical transformations in Worden’s life as an artist. The songwriting on these records draw as much on top-40 pop as on Worden’s experiences in the cast of an experimental Matthew Barney film, in surprisingly direct and literal ways: the Walt Whitman poem that provides the words to “None More Than You’s” “Whoever You Are” and the marching band–style arrangement of “This Is My Hand’s” “Pressure” were both inspired by elements in Barney’s The River of Fundament, but their dance-floor friendly tempo and singalong structure are borne out of Worden’s analytical thinking as a composer, mathematically breaking down her favourite radio hits.
“In the States, the marching band is done in school and represents something inclusive, that anyone can learn”, Worden explains. “I love the communal quality and the way drums and horns travel in large, three-dimensional spaces. I looked at changes in music over my career, and trying to re-evaluate what it meant to me in the first place: ‘what is the value of music?’ is essentially what I was thinking about.”
Beautifully produced by Zac Rae and Worden herself, “This Is My Hand” is a bold, undeniable new chapter in MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND’s unfurling narrative. Whilst debut album “Bring Me The Workhorse” encompassed classical string arrangements, its follow-up “A Thousand Shark’s Teeth’s” boasted wind accompaniments, and 2011’s “All Things Will Unwind” offered brooding intensity, “This Is My Hand” is the most immediate and accessible collection of songs in MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND’s canon to date.
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