Though My Brightest Diamond - a.k.a. singer/songwriter Shara Worden - may be most famous for donning a cheerleader outfit as part of Sufjan Stevens' band for his 2005 Illinois tour, her work as a solo artist has drawn more comparisons to Jeff Buckley, Björk and Antony Hegarty of Antony & the Johnsons than indie folksters like Stevens or cheerleader dance-pop.
While The New York Times went so far as to brand Worden "Björkley" (Björk plus Buckley) in June, her primary influence seems to be Hegarty. Worden's style of vocal delivery is strikingly similar to his, and it's the centerpiece of her most recent album, A Thousand Shark's Teeth. However, her approach to chamber pop is arguably more rock 'n' roll than his, despite her formal training as an opera singer.
The reasoning behind the "Björkley" tag isn't terribly evident at the start of "Inside a Boy," the haunting first track on Teeth. Though its title could have been stolen from a Björk album, most of the song sounds more like an amalgam of Dido, Hegarty and Coldplay's debut album, Parachutes, with a bit of Portishead-style goth thrown in for good measure. It's not until later in the song - in particular at her live performances of it, like one at a New York City dog park featured on Rolling Stone's blog - that rock shows its face more clearly.
After that, "Björkley" makes a lot more sense: The death-pixie orchestration and vocals of "Apples" have a heavy Björk vibe, while "To Pluto's Moon" showcases dramatic, Buckley-style vocals reminiscent of his songs "Everybody Here Wants You" and "Lilac Wine" and fades out with dreamy, distorted guitar. Meanwhile, "From the Top of the World" flips the chamber-pop formula midstream with hints of jazz, blues and even a little Nick Drake.