My Brightest Diamond, the project of multi-instrumentalist Shara Worden, has released its second album entitled A Thousand Shark’s Teeth. Combining art rock, classical and other influences, Teeth soars and floats with buzzing guitars and seething violins. Worden, who has worked with Sufjan Stevens as part of the Illinoismakers, recalls Portishead’s Beth Gibbons with her legato phrasing and gothic tones. The album has been released on Stevens’ label, Asthmatic Kitty.
Several songs are reminiscent of Radiohead, particularly “Ice & the Storm,” with arrangements, at times, recalling “Street Spirit (Fade Out).” Worden’s haunting vocals sit barely above a whisper before becoming operatic. Despite the grand-scale instrumentation, some songs feel diminutive. “If I Were Queen,” although it has an orchestral backing, begins with Worden’s fragile breathing and gently plucked strings. The sound begins to open and become wider with the introduction of a violin section, but never really becomes large.
This subdued album is perfect for introspective moments, sullen times and sleepy nighttime hypnosis. Using such instruments as marimba, French horns, vibraphones and clarinets, Teeth has a subtle beauty that shines at every facet. The final song, “Diamond,” involves a harp for a shimmering sound that offsets the piercing violin section. Such instrumentation only electrifies the lyrics Worden sings: “You are the brightest diamond / I can see you shining / for miles and miles and miles.”
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