Under The Influence: My Brightest Diamond All Things Will Unwind
We checked in with Shara Worden yesterday to hear about the process behind her new LP, All Things Will Unwind, from which we’ve heard “We Added It Up” and “Be Brave.” Now, here’s Worden with a playlist of songs that inspired All Things Will Unwind and there’s definitely a good gem/jam ratio going with this. Take it away, Shara!
1.Tim Fite – “For – Closure”
I adore Tim Fite. Tim Fite goes straight for the gullet. He does not beat around the bush. I live in Detroit and this this song epitomizes the housing & mortgage crisis in Michigan. While “only” ranking seventh in the nation for the worst-housing-situation, a lot of families are losing their homes, and becoming homeless.
2. Diane Cluck – “Wild Deer at Dawn”
Diane is a prolific songwriting. Uncompromisingly dedicated to artmaking & I am always inspired by her work. This song seems like such a beautiful photograph, of deer coming to drink.
3. Roberta Flack – “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”
This is one of the most beautiful love songs that I’ve ever heard. Absolutely stunning in every way. I am at a loss for words.
Yes, this is a guilty pleasure, but this arrangement is so slamming, that I have to put it on my list.
5. Peggy Lee – “Fever”
I first heard this song about 10 years ago when I was working as a hostess at Houston’s Restaurant on Park Avenue. It was the highlight of every hour when it came on over the speakers. Simple arrangement, sexiest vocal ever. Incredible restraint.
6. Sade – “Immigrant”
It feels weird to say how good this song is, a perfect blend of story & music, because it’s such a sad example of racism, that to talk about it much feels too analytical & to miss the message. This music, the harp tones, the drum beat, the vocal triplets, all add to the gravity of the text in a way that makes the listener feel the weight all the more intensely.
7. Dave Deporis – “Swan King in the Snow”
I hear Dave’s voice & I melt. I am quieted. I see the world in a different way. I met Dave, along with Diane Cluck, at the Sidewalk Cafe Open Mic in New York, about 10 years ago, and I think he truly is a beautiful undiscovered gem.
8. Olof Arnalds – “Klara”
I listened to the album almost everyday when I was pregnant last year. The simplicity & beauty of the charango, Olof’s clear voice, & the classic folk melodies are so simple & elegant & pure to me.
9. Violent Femmes – “Blister in the Sun”
When I started to work on the new My Brightest Diamond album, I wanted to address some of the acoustical challenges I’d had in the past. We had used rock drums with strings, and it created a host of sound design issues. I rediscovered the “Grandfathers of Folk-Punk”, the Violent Femmes, and become obsessed with the way that the drums were used with only brushes. I thought this would be a good template for working with the chamber ensemble, yMusic, but still getting some punk spirit in the music.
10. Tom Waits – “Chocolate Jesus”
A master storyteller, a timbral king, a brilliant comedian, a man who knows how to use a prop. This is quintessential Tom Waits. He holds the rusty key to my dreams.