My Brightest Diamond

Pop Addict: My Brightest Diamond’s All Things Will Unwind

Every Thursday, Pop Addict presents infectious tunes from contemporary musicians across indie rock, pop, folk, electronica, and more.

My Brightest Diamond: All Things Will UnwindMy Brightest Diamond: All Things Will Unwind (Asthmatic Kitty, 10/18/11)

My Brightest Diamond: “Reaching Through to the Other Side”

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Detroit-based singer/songwriter Shara Worden has long made a career as an indie-pop mercenary. Over the past decade or so, she has lent her talents to Sufjan StevensIllinoisemakers, collaborated with The Decemberists, covered Radiohead for an OK Computer tribute album, appeared on numerous compilations (including her excellent cut on Dark Was the Night), and contributed to the chamber ensemble yMusic (which also includes Bon Iver, Antony & the Johnsons, the New York Philharmonic, and Rufus Wainwright).

Clearly, Worden has no problem keeping busy. But even in the midst of her many endeavors, Worden has found time for her indie-pop pet project, My Brightest Diamond, without ever skimping on musical quality or integrity.

Such is the case on All Things Will Unwind, My Brightest Diamond’s third effort on Asthmatic Kitty, as Worden’s talents are as focused and as strong as ever. Indeed, the most engaging aspect of My Brightest Diamond is undoubtedly Worden’s voice. With such grace and skill in tow, it’s no wonder that so many acts enlist Worden as a hired hand. Her voice is so pure, so strong yet delicate, so confident and dynamic, that there is no denying the presence of an immense talent. Swaying between sweet, soft-edged crooning (“She Does Not Brave the War”) to full-on, forceful belt-outs (the latter half of “Be Brave”), Worden knows exactly what she’s doing. The songs swell and sway, kept adrift — and often take flight — thanks to Worden’s cosmic vocal work.

Morrow vs. Hajduch

Morrow vs. Hajduch: Oh! Pears’ Fill Your Lungs EP

Scott Morrow is ALARM’s music editor. Patrick Hajduch is a very important lawyer. Each week they debate the merits of a different album.

Oh! Pears: Fill Your LungsOh! Pears: Fill Your Lungs EP (3/13/10)

Oh! Pears: “Fill Your Lungs”
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Morrow: Guitarist Corey Duncan left indie rockers Pattern Is Movement in 2007, opting to focus on a solo chamber-pop project.  That project turned into Oh! Pears, a 13-piece ensemble that plays Duncan’s classically and pop-inspired pieces.

Released independently earlier this year, Fill Your Lungs is Oh! Pears’ promising debut EP.  It begins with rounds of looping acoustic-guitar riffs and pizzicato, staccato, and legato strings, with Duncan’s deep voices joining to guide the music.  The rest of the five-song release is accented with other sounds, but this marriage of guitars, cellos, and violas best defines the EP.