My Brightest Diamond is the musical project of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Shara Worden, the Michigan native now New York City resident. Worden is best known for her collaboration with indie folk-rocker Sufjan Stevens and having performed with the likes of The National, The Decemberists, and Bon Iver. Her solo career, however, has been expansive. With her fourth album, This is My Hand, Worden builds on her past, denser efforts to create an arty, pop album that is challenging yet captivating, combining the symphonic elements of Florence + The Machine, the artistic and experimentalism of St. Vincent and Bat for Lashes, and symphony-infused music of Bon Iver and Arcade Fire.

“Pressure”, which opens with a drum roll and operatic flurry; the psychedelic pop “Before the Words”; the groovy, soulful undertones of “Lover Killer” launch the album, showcasing the main styles and genres that Worden has performed on. “I Am Not the Bad Guy” has the ringing of St. Vincent’s haunting, deep bass-driven, art-rock. Whereas the first half the album is climatic and each song contains multiple layers, the second half is more minimalist and subdue but just as captivating as the first few songs. The more melodic approach creates a dreamy sonic landscape akin to the works of Zola Jesus and RHYE. “Apparition” stands out amongst the tracks with Worden’s aural voice over top a bass line that resembles a heartbeat.

In a year where there has been some great indie music, This is My Hand could be considered its abstract, as Worden exquisitely covers the vast array of musical genres and approaches. It is celebratory and complex as well as calm and subtle. It breaks out in a groove, thumps with deep bass, or mesmerizes with quiet melodies. Altogether, This is My Hand could be Worden’s breakout, where she’ll no longer be considered one of Sufjan Stevens’, The Decemberists, or The National’s collaborator, but among their equals.

This is My Hand comes out Tuesday, September, and it is available on Asthmatic Kitty Records, iTunes (regular and Prismatic version), and Amazon.

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Facebook – My Brightest Diamond
Twitter – @MyBrightestDmnd

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