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 Shara Worden's home life. Her first song was recorded at age three and by age eight Shara Worden was studying piano and performing in community musical productions.
Picking up an opera degree at the University of North Texas, Shara Worden 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 Worden frequented downtown clubs such as Tonic, Knitting Factory, and The Living Room, catching performances by Antony & the Johnsons, Nina Nastasia, and Rebecca Moore and inspired by their use of strings, Shara Worden began studying composition with Australian composer Padma Newsome (of Clogs/The National). After the breakup of Awry, Shara Worden 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, doing splits and round-offs (not to mention the human pyramid) as one of the notorious Illinoisemakers. Shara was quickly promoted as cheerleading captain.
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 distil stories to their most distressing points of contact: a phone call, an injured horse, a dragonfly caught in a spider’s web. Shara Worden’s Manicini-esque string arrangements laced with dramatic guitars and punk rock drums defined the My Brightest Diamond sound. In performance Shara Worden showed unusual versatility, channeling the vocal theatrics of Jeff Buckley, the soulful seductiveness of Nina Simone and the gothic pop of Portishead. 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 My Brightest 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, My Brightest 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.
Shara Worden has contributed to the theatrics of other bands including singing a duet with David Byrne on his upcoming album Here Lies Love, performing The Queen in the newest rock opera offering from The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens’ epic Illinois, as well as performing with Laurie Anderson, Bon Iver, The National, St. Vincent, and Devotchka. My Brightest Diamond also contributed their version of “Feelin’ Good” to the RedHot compilation entitled Dark Was The Night.
Listen to My Brightest Diamond Here
|Bring Me the Workhorse||2006||Asthmatic Kitty|
|Tear It Down||2007||Asthmatic Kitty|
|A Thousand Shark's Teeth||2008||Asthmatic Kitty|
|Shark Remixes Volume 1: Alfred Brown||2008||Asthmatic Kitty|
|Shark Remixes Vol. 2: Son Lux||2009||Asthmatic Kitty|
|Shark Remixes, Vol. 3: Roberto Carlos Lange||2009||Asthmatic Kitty|
|Shark Remixes, Vol 4: DM Stith||2010||Asthmatic Kitty|
|All Things Will Unwind||2011||Asthmatic Kitty|