Lianna Ankney, FKA Diamond Shapes, is a Pittsburgh singer/songwriter whose stripped-down instrumentals and reedy vocals recall early Joanna Newsom.
LA-LA-LA, out last week, is the first solo EP that Ankney has released under her own name. “What the Land Told Me,” the album’s first song proper following a brief intro, sounds ageless; if you added some analog crackle and told me that it had been released in the 1930’s, I’d believe you. Ankney’s voice hits directly and elementally; breathy accents, trilling falsetto, and a slight twang merge with cryptic, foreboding lyrics to form a haunting backwoods ballad. The Dust Bowl is back, Pittsburgh style, in the form of this sylvan acoustic troubadour.