After a four-year hiatus from releasing music, My Brightest Diamond returns to the Majestic Theatre Monday night to promote her latest release, A Million and One, alongside the band STARS.
A project of classically trained singer and multi-instrumentalist Shara Nova, My Brightest Diamond’s avant-pop sound on the latest record created a new soundscape for the project drawing upon Nova’s varied musical roots.
“My grandparents were traveling evangelists and my grandfather was a guitar player,” Nova explained. “My parents were church musicians. I think my real mentor was my uncle who is a real gorgeous musician — I grew up around music as a part of the family culture.”
As a teenager, Nova moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she could access Detroit radio. This particular influence comes through most clearly on A Million and One, as Nova reconnects with a teenager’s love of music.
The record’s opening track, “It’s Me on the Dance Floor,” owes its carefully crafted sound to both of these influences. Nova’s hallowed vocals on the verses of the song seem sacred in nature, an effective contrast to the upbeat dance tempo throughout the song.
While the tracks on the record are still decidedly avant-pop, there’s a rawness to the lyrics and through lines of the pieces that make the album compelling. “Another Chance,” a decidedly wistful post-breakup track, seems so natural for Nova, possibly due to the unchanging nature of the song’s creation.
“It wrote itself in five minutes,” Nova said, “That song never got a makeover, it just sort of came out, it got recorded, it is what it is. There’s something nice in that it’s not a construction.”
Armed with a bag of clean laundry after completing the European leg of her tour, Nova is excited to return to cities like Madison to perform a show filled with emotional connection.
Nova performed in Madison on her first tour in 2001 and remembers her favorite Madison artists like Ivan Clipstein and John Hunter. She fondly recalls the Catacombs, a former coffee shop venue in the basement of a church, and holds Madison in a special place in her heart.
Along with STARS, Nova is ready to connect with her audience and encourage them to find meaning with her in the music.
“The most powerful experiences that I’ve had either as an audience member or a performer is when I’m making meaning in the moment.” Nova said.
My Brightest Diamond opens for STARS at the Majestic Theatre on Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20.