Diamond Shapes
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Diamond Shapes

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Folk Acoustic




"Lianna Ankney makes her solo debut as Diamond Shapes"

Her songs bring to mind the simple sweetness and melodic complexity of Angel Olsen and Joanna Newsom, and the shimmer of Vashti Bunyan

By Margaret Welsh

Two years after deciding to start guitar lessons, Lianna Ankney made a deal with herself. Either she would start writing her own songs — something she had aimed to do from the beginning — or she would quit. "I thought, ‘I'll put some chords together and see what comes of it," she recalls. "And I started singing, which I found out I could do. Which was really strange."

With some encouragement (and more guitar lessons) from her co-worker, Nic Snyder of the band 1,2,3, Ankney began recording her songs, and this past summer, finished her debut under the name Diamond Shapes. Snyder offered his production services. Though Ankney had some musical experience — she played flute in the school band — Snyder did much of the arranging and helped Ankney figure out how she wanted the record to sound. "I felt like such a novice as a musician, [but] I really trusted his opinion," she says. "I really felt like [his input] fit my music very well."

Though Ankney sings backup for Greensburg-based indie rockers Household Stories, she doesn't play many shows on her own, partly because of stage fright, and partly because, she says with a smile and a shrug, "I don't really know how to get into playing shows. I love sharing my music, but my issue is playing guitar in front of people. There's always so much to learn." True as that may be, it also seems a bit too modest in light of Diamond Shapes, an impressive collection of songs which bring to mind the simple sweetness and melodic complexity of Angel Olsen and Joanna Newsom, and the shimmer of Vashti Bunyan.

For now, Ankney, who works as a graphic designer, is taking things slow: In lieu of a big release show, she opted to host a small get-together in her home in Export. But this year she hopes to start playing out more often, and writing more songs. "When I was in high school, I was drawn to the visual arts, and quit band for that reason." Now, she says, "I feel like it's come full circle. I feel like this is what I was meant to be doing the whole time." - Pittsburgh City Paper

"Local 913 Live: Diamond Shapes"

WYEP's local music happy hour is now the Local 913 Live. Folk pop duo Diamond Shapes performs.

-Yellow Canoe
-Wild Strawberries
-River Man
-Love, Love
-Diamond Shapes
-Juniper Bird
-Sounds of Love - WYEP 91.3


Diamond Shapes LP



As a child, Lianna enjoyed dancing around the basement of her childhood home while listening to her parents' records from the 60s with her whole family. This had sincere effect on her joy and taste in music. She played flute throughout elementary school, middle school, and most of high school. At the age of 25, Lianna began taking guitar lessons and started writing songs while discovering her singing voice shortly after. She wrote and recorded under the name Diamond Shapes between 2012 and 2014 while she was still learning to play guitar. In the years that followed, Matt and Teena joined her in Diamond Shapes. As a solo artist, her voice and story-telling continues to unfold and transform as she observes and interacts with her surroundings. This need to create infuses bravery into the questions she asks herself and the questions she asks to others through her lyrics. What do we desire? What is accessible? What can we do right now? All else flows from that which is this.

Band Members