Shara Worden is an amazing woman. She’s the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist behind My Brightest Diamond, the artist name she releases music under for Asthmatic Kitty Records. Shara grew up in Oklahama, went to high school in Ypsilanti, Michigan, studied opera in college in Texas, lived in Moscow, NYC… She mixes experimental rock, droning pop, cabaret, chamber music, and her own quirkiness into a sound that’s hard to define — you could call her the female, operatic answer to Radiohead, but that would only scrape the surface.
Her voice is stunning, and her songs are so unique that my only complaint I could ever offer is that sometimes she takes away from own voice with the noise-pop touch she gives her albums. As such, I love it when she performs without any production or effects (or her concerts’ goofy-but-fun costumes).
In a Take Away Show for Blogotheque, Shara crept into a Berlin hotel bar on a Sunday morning to sing “I Have Never Loved Someone,” a track from My Brightest Diamond’s brand-new album All Things Will Unwind. Unlike the album version, she performs accompanied only by her acoustic guitar and it’s just… heartbreaking. She cried after filming this semi-impromptu performance of the song, written for her son, and so did the person filming. It’s beautiful.
Shara Worden performs “I Have Never Loved Someone” acoustic:
As another testament to her amazing vocal talents, one performance I’ve long been a fan of is this YouTube video filmed by a friend in Brazil. She and her husband were at a karaoke bar, just having a good time, and she got up to sing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” Yes, it’s originally a Dolly Parton song, but she sang the Whitney version — and crushed it. She was barely even trying (she might have only barely been sober) and her voice still devastates me. She could do an album of all pop covers and it could be the greatest thing anyone’s ever heard.
Shara Worden sings “I Will Always Love You” in a karaoke bar:
Seriously, take some time and check out My Brightest Diamond. It might be hard to get into at times (and I confess, I sometimes skip the tracks on my iPod if I’m not in the mood) but your ears will thank you for listening. And if you find you can’t get enough, Shara has also recorded with Sufjan Stevens, Jedi Mind Tricks and did the song “Seven Years” for the David Byrne-Fatboy Slim rock opera Here Lies Love about Imelda Marcos. There’s also a lot of My Brightest Diamond remixes, too. :)