BY MICHAEL TOLAND
There aren’t many musicians these days traveling a truly distinctive path – most of them simply put their own spins on previously established forms. (And to be clear: there’s not a thing wrong with that approach.) But there are a handful who sound like they’re coming from a unique place, and Shara Worden is one of them. On her self-willed project’s fourth LP This is My Hand, My Brightest Diamond certainly has something in common with familiar tropes: the thrumming electrobeat of “I am not the Bad Guy,” the drum corps atmosphere of “Pressure,” the bodygrooving funk of “Lover Killer,” the classically-inclined flourishes and arrangements throughout that hint at her bonafide musical training.
But Worden twists her influences into her own singular forms, the kind that baffle and bedazzle at the same time – the blend of soaring melodies, twisting atmospheres, whimsical noises and sophisticated arrangements make direct comparisons impossible. She’s a genius – yes, that word is justified – at using her above-average knowledge about How Music Works to create pop gems that balance challenge with accessibility – cf. “Before the Words,” “Shape,” “So Easy.” This is My Hand is one big ball of skill, imagination and love of musical creation.
DOWNLOAD: “Before the Words,” “Lover Killer,” “Shape”