Within the first few minutes of My Brightest Diamond’s Bring Me The Workhorse, Shara Worden evokes PJ Harvey, Portishead’s Beth Gibbons, and even Björk. Worden’s music is made up of the same stuff (read: influences) as Carina Round’s The Disconnection (and the less impressive Slow Motion Addict), only with slightly rounder edges. The operatic storytelling and codas of songs like “Dragonfly” and the album opener “Something Of An End,” which finds Worden’s trills emulating the sound of a ringing phone, reflect the classical training of the “head cheerleader” of Sufjan Stevens’s Illinoisemakers touring troupe. The album’s strings are sexy and cinematic, the guitars ominous and foreboding, and Worden’s vocals quiver quickly as she sings little daggers like “I’m afraid to forget you” on the too-short “We Were Sparkling,” the angelic choir of which bleeds into the nostalgic sounds of a tinkling music box. Wordon encounters small creatures in two songs, and she treats them as precious, attempting to save the titular insect in the abovementioned “Dragonfly” and, later, a baby robin in “The Robin’s Jar.” The metaphors are sometimes heavy-handed, but ultimately chilling, particularly when the backyard burial of the bird is paralleled with the death of Wordon’s childhood best friend.
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