My Brightest Diamond fountainhead Shara Wilson, an opera-trained, Sufjan Stevens confederate, leads her troupe through murky anachronistic swamplands, gloomy outposts of shadowy French horns, slithering reverb-drenched guitars and globular string arrangements. The group’s sophomore release, A Thousand Shark’s Teeth, is a visceral adventure, creeping outward like a malicious black tar across the floor of some inky, candle-lit brothel-cum-nightclub. Wilson’s chanteuse playacting works as a singular point of interest, with all the jittering instrumentals and shuffling percussion working toward the unified goal of lifting her smoldering voice above all the chaos.
The plunkering, analogue trip-hop groove and frightfully maneuvered string arrangements of “Like A Sieve” and suspended orchestral swell-and-release of “To Pluto’s Moon” suggest My Brightest Diamond (and Wilson’s ethereal yowls in particular) are a bit enamored with Bjork, while bypassing simplistic copycat poses with these tracks’ glacially paced, doomsday sonata intricacies and masochistic lyrics (“I slam against the wall / It’s crushing my skull”). More rock-oriented tracks like the guitar-driven album opener, “Inside A Boy” sport complicated, Jeff Buckley-esque compositional fragmentation and pop-rock-meets-jazz-club arrangements. My Brightest Diamond only dips into the Burlesque theatrics a little too heavily on the excessively stagy “Black and Costeaud,” where Wilson unleashes her opera experience to its melodramatic breaking point.
Despite the slight misstep, A Thousand Shark’s Teeth, delivers a dynamic range of late-night crowd pleasers perfect for those mysterious romantic interludes on shadowy cobblestone back alleys.
Favorite Track: “Like A Sieve”