Within the past couple of years, Detroit has gone from being butt of America's joke, into the little city that could. Take a peek at last year's Chrysler commercial, featuring hometown rapper Eminem. It was the commercial that showed the rest of America what us Michiganders have been noticing for a while now: Detroit's got a pulse.
That's one of many factors that drew Shara Worden to the city. The mind behind My Brightest Diamond planted her roots in Detroit soil after living in New York, preceded by a year in Moscow.
"My move to Detroit was really about needing a lot of different things," Worden said. "I'm so excited about the urban farming movement that's happening in Detroit [and there's] a really low cost of living. I can have a home and a garden and an orchard in my backyard. For me, space and cost of living and having a sustainable life as a musician — I felt like Detroit offered me a possibility of that."
Throughout Worden's many moves — she estimates living in nine states - she's lived in Michigan three times and spent five years living in Ypsilanti as a teenager.
"That's one of the many things I am — I have some Michigan girl in me."
And it was Michigan, but specifically Detroit, that inspired My Brightest Diamond's latest album, All Things Will Unwind.
"One of the concerns on my new record is just wrestling with the class differences that I see and seeing my neighbors who struggle so very much just to make ends meet," she said. "Until you start to really rub shoulders with people who have nothing, you aren't even conscious of all of the things that you've had in your life."
It's these dark themes that make up All Things Will Unwind, but it's not what entirely defines the album. During My Brightest Diamond's live shows, Worden creates a space that stimulates the audience both visually and sonically. She's known for her colorful and dramatic stage attire, as well as elements of art and theatre.
"I often use puppet masks, which is based on Kabuki theatre," Worden says of this month's show at Calvin College. "There's a bit of dancing, a bit of puppetry, as well as storytelling and music."