Already the fourth studio album from 40-year old Detroit native Shara Worden, This Is My Hand could indeed be the breakout record that propels the multi-talented singer-songwriter and instrumentalist to a wider audience. A diligent collaborator in her own right (having previously worked with the likes of Sufjan Stephens, The Decemberists and Bon Iver) Worden has perhaps not enjoyed the mainstream recognition she would have liked during her 20 + year music career.
However, with this fine dosage of avant-garde indie rock, with a refined yet thoroughly soulful vibe, it’s highly feasible that she may be about to enjoy some added industry exposure. Adeptly produced and brilliantly understated, the record gives My Brightest Diamond the perfect platform to demonstrate her considerable musical talents and eerily profound vocal style. Be it the pulsing marching band tempo and jazzy chorus hook on single release ‘Pressure’, the stirring orchestral backing on the title track, or the vehemently rhythmic hand clapping on ‘Lover Killer’, the album displays an inspired use of instruments and musical styles that captures the imagination in the most composed of fashions.
Up tempo songs like ‘Before the Words’, and ‘Resonance’ supply the most rhythmic, melodious section of the record, providing a nice balance to more ambient, minimalist ballads like ‘So Easy’ and ‘Apparition’. However it is on the album’s darker, more experimental, moments like ‘I’m Not the Bad Guy’, and the enigmatic ‘Shape’, that Worden really establishes her compelling presence. While not quite exhibiting the zany creativity of St. Vincent, or the sprightly commercial appeal of La Roux, the subtle yet commanding arrangement of This Is My Hand has certainly announced My Brightest Diamond’s arrival as a genuine force to be reckoned with.