Photo by Denny Renshaw
For Shara Worden, her musical education is never complete. The vocalist behind My Brightest Diamond was classically-trained at the University of North Texas, but she’s equally adept in more pop-oriented ensembles. She’s toured as a part of Sufjan Stevens’ band; featured on the Decemberists’ 2009 record The Hazards Of Love; and collaborated with David Byrne. Her own work as My Brightest Diamond shape-shifts from album to album, incorporating both her opera background and more modern sounds. This year’s This Is My Hand might be her most direct effort yet. While the songs still follow unusual paths, Worden is adept as a full-on rock singer, smuggling dance and industrial elements into the orchestration.
It was interesting to hear My Brightest Diamond strip these elements down backstage at ACL Fest 2014. With just a three-piece setup, Worden filled in the spaces with her percussive guitar-playing and otherworldly voice. Download a live version of “I Am Not The Bad Guy” below!