My Brightest Diamond, None More Than You

Winston Cook-Wilson

By Winston Cook-Wilson

on 07.17.14 in Reviews

On None More Than You, the latest EP from My Brightest Diamond, Shara Worden’s breathtaking, classically trained voice and inventive scoring remain the focus of her music, but they are bolstered by an uncharacteristic grooviness. The songs are still wreathed in orchestral textures, but they become part of the rhythm section here, delivering dynamic, repetitive figures. Uptempo barnburner “Whoever You Are,” recalls the formative, less fuzz-pedal-heavy work of fellow former Illinoisemaker and pop chameleon St. Vincent. Its chorus pops, and sticks after the first listen.

Shara Worden streamlines her writing without sacrificing her detail-oriented approach

But the finest moments of None More Than You are the two remixes of Worden’s ballad “Dreaming Awake” by Son Lux and Mason Jar, which open with the sparest and most beautiful moments in the MBD discography. The producers dismantle and reassemble the richly melismatic source material. The process seems similar to the way Worden must build her compositions — in which the timbres and background commotion are as much as part of the essential “song” as the melody and chords.

Worden’s lyrics are characterized by a certain saucer-eyed lack of irony: If you can’t stomach cosmic observations such as “Whoever you are/ Motion and reflection are especially for you” or “That point when something impossible comes to be coincidentally/ That’s when I stopped believing gravity is holding me” then you’re probably at the wrong Bandcamp. But on None More Than You, Worden is — more clearly than she has ever been — making something approaching straightforward pop songs, streamlining her writing without sacrificing her detail-oriented approach. If the EP is a fair indicator of the direction My Brightest Diamond will be pursuing on This is My Hand, the album has the potential to be her most compelling work to date.