Few people can front a rock band, sing Górecki’s Third Symphony, lead a marching band processional down the streets of the Sundance Film Festival, and perform in a baroque opera of their own composing in a month’s time, but Shara Nova can. Her multifaceted career as My Brightest Diamond, which began with an acclaimed independent rock record, has reflected her journey into the world of performing arts.
Nova began issuing recordings as My Brightest Diamond in 2006. She also was involved in the band AwRY around that time, as well as Sufjan Stevens’s Illinoisemakers live ensemble. Asthmatic Kitty Records released her debut album Bring Me the Workhorse in 2006, A Thousand Sharks’ Teeth in 2008, All Things Will Unwind in 2011, and This Is My Hand in 2014. In 2018, Nova will release A Million and One, coproduced with the Twilite Tone (Gorillaz, Kanye West, Common, Kendrick Lamar). The album features contributions from Earl Harvin (Air, Tindersticks) and Vincent Taurelle (Air, Tony Allen, Nicolas Godin, Françoise Hardy).
Nova (formerly Shara Worden) continues to prolifically weave her way through experimental pop and classical worlds, composing, collaborating, and sharing stages with Sarah Kirkland Snider, the National, David Byrne, Andrew Bird, and Bon Iver, among others. Career highlights include singing in Laurie Anderson’s 2008 show Homeland, delivering guest vocals on the Decemberists’ 2009 Hazards of Love album and subsequently joining them on tour, and singing and recording for Pulitzer Prize–winning composer David Lang.
Tunde Olaniran is set to release his second album, Stranger, on October 5. This Flint, MI native is a beloved fixture in the Detroit-area music scene. His recordings, live performances, and activism have led to wide critical praise. In 2017 alone, he was a breakout performer at SXSW, toured with Sleigh Bells, and his single “Namesake” was used by Apple for their iPhone 8 ads. Stranger is the follow up to Olaniran’s 2015 debut full-length album Transgressor. Written while on tour with Sleigh Bells, Stranger has the same fun and unexpected production as its predecessor, but with songs that he could also sing with just a piano or guitar.