My Brightest Diamond
None More Than You


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matt Harrison CONTRIBUTOR (20 Reviews)
July 29th, 2014 | 19 replies


Release Date: 07/15/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Lucid dreaming.

Comparisons between My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden and St. Vincent’s Annie Clark frequently arise for two main reasons. The first is that both artists are runaway multi-instrumentalists who launched their characters off the backs of Sufjan Steven’s touring band. The second is that both are arguably the biggest indie art-pop queens this side of Björk. Of course, the first fact makes total sense just by listening to either artist. The experience of working with Sufjan was always bound to imprint certain eccentricities and tendencies for elevated pop compositions, but I don’t think anyone expected the two artists to expand Sufjan’s tried and true method to such great heights. My Brightest Diamond’s latest work None More Than You is just further proof that her background was entirely essential.

Opening track “Dreaming Awake (Son Lux mix)” swells from the start with Worden’s crooning voice. Her high falsetto balances expertly on mirroring synth notes before descending down into driving hip-hop beats. Son Lux’s layering of rapid, crunching electronic pulses through the track on top of lush orchestral soundscapes. It’s a perfect collaboration when you think about it. Son Lux’s ambitious compositions have always complemented his modest voice, riding on the power of his expansive instruments, and Worden’s voice only accentuates the effectiveness of this dichotomy.

“Whoever You Are” shares the closest resemblance to St. Vincent’s latest self-titled LP. It flutters and operates at a faster pace than her typical tracks, and its tone matches the upbeat synth driven form of Ms. Clark. The dream theme continues on “Dreams Don’t Look Like,” which begins with the slightly trite line “dreams don’t look like how they look in sleep,” but it’s undeniably pleasant, resembling the melody of The Beatles’ “Across the Universe” at times, and at other times the smoothness of a Nick Drake track.

“Dreaming Awake” is revisited with a Mason Jar mix and it provides a nearly equal punch to Son Lux’s. It begins stripped down before expanding upwards into a horn and choir finish that propels Wordan’s stellar vocals skyward once again. The EP wraps up with the shortest and most meditative track, “That Point When.” It floats along with Wordan arguing, “it’s never too late” to have echoed back “it’s too late.” The track bounces back and forth in her questions until the track abruptly ends with “that point when…”

What is so enticing about My Brightest Diamond’s EP is its richness. With her fourth LP, This is My Hand, arriving in a few months it would appear this EP is an intended prequel, yet the five songs feel unusually complete. If it truly is an introduction then I can only imagine the ambition and scale of This is My Hand. Or, perhaps None More Than You will be her standout work of 2014. Either way, she’s delivered a fantastic piece of music that rivals her best work.



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user ratings (7)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 29th 2014


1687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Streaming on bandcamp: https://mybrightestdiamond.bandcamp.com/album/none-more-than-you

ExplosiveOranges
July 29th 2014


3884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good to see you still review. This looks like it could be good.

Digging: Millicent Waffles - Under Dark Blue Blanket

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 29th 2014


1687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks! Yeah, this summer I've been writing movie reviews for an internship and it's been just draining me to write anything else. I've been trying to get back into music writing though.

ExplosiveOranges
July 30th 2014


3884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Congrats on the feature, man! I'm hoping to see more writeups from you in the near future.

Satellite
July 30th 2014


20826 Comments


mbd is super underrated

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 30th 2014


1687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

that's for sure.

jeremologyy
July 30th 2014


274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This EP and review are both great. I can't wait for her new LP!

wwf
July 30th 2014


1017 Comments


Is this better than St Vincent? Because I never really got the big deal about her

jeremologyy
July 30th 2014


274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The differences are wide enough where you can certainly enjoy one woman's work without enjoying the other's. Worden's is a little more orchestral and dramatic where Clark's is often more angular and austere. (I am a fan of both women, but they are different enough).

wwf
July 30th 2014


1017 Comments


That's good to hear. Angular is a good way to describe Clark; I got kind of annoyed by her sound quickly.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2014


1687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, agree with Jeremologyy. They're in some ways two sides of the same coin, but I think their style is still very much varied enough to enjoy one and not the other.

thelastsignal
July 31st 2014


1587 Comments


Nice review, man! You're one of the better contributors, love reading your stuff. This sounds pretty interesting, will check for sure.

Digging: The Grouch x Eligh x CunninLynguists - The Winterfire EP

Adabelle
August 1st 2014


4260 Comments


I would say this is a shocking piece of artwork but it's better than the three other albums being featured right now, jeeeeeeeeeez.

Will read review laterrrr

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2014


1687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks thelastsingal. I'll be reviewing more once I start school back up in the next month, as backwards as that might sound.

ExplosiveOranges
August 2nd 2014


3884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually posted more reviews monthly before summer began than I have now.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2014


1687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, it just gets me in the zone to write. Probably because writing all the college papers keeps my writing a bit more in shape than over the summer.

ExplosiveOranges
August 2nd 2014


3884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And the whole structured approach really leaves you with more of a specific time to write.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 2nd 2014


1687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

definitely. Also just depends on the releases coming out too. Generally, summer seems to be a slow time for new music, while fall is much busier.

ExplosiveOranges
August 2nd 2014


3884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's summer for movies, fall for music, and winter for video games.



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