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MP3 Pawnshop Diamond - Leaning to the Sun

With flavours of gypsy jazz, folk, and straight-up rock and roll, the band’s sophomore album, Leaning to the Sun, is a hook-laden musical feast.

10 MP3 Songs in this album (38:05) !
Related styles: ROCK: Adult Contemporary, FOLK: Folk-Rock

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After years of hanging around musicians – and even dating a few, Katie Ormiston finally picked up her brother''s guitar and started strumming her own chords. She never actually expected to wind up on stage herself.

It began with writing – working things out in a song, as John Prine would say. A romantic trip to Europe gone awry left Ormiston looking to her music collection for answers. Though she found inspiration in the songs of Neil Young, JJ Cale and Lucinda Williams, it was her own lyrical voice that provided relief. A close friend, Nina Fleming, flew to Spain to help her recover by sipping cabernet from white plastic cups on the Mediterranean. The first Pawnshop Diamond songs were born as the two friends sang harmonies on the Paris Metro.

Back in the rich musical community of East Vancouver, Ormiston didn’t go far to find collaborators. Fleming, dusted off her piano and another friend Jared Ferrie accompanied them on electric guitar. They played their first performance on Ormiston’s 30th birthday, fulfilling a promise to herself and showing a promise of things to come. Lucas Schuller was recruited on drums and Lynn Saffery on bass to complete Pawnshop Diamond. When Ferrie left for Afghanistan to pursue a career in journalism he was replaced by David Taylor. With numerous shows, festivals and a second studio album now under their belt, Pawnshop Diamond are spreading their musical message with sweet harmonies and deep grooves.

In a world of fleeting trends and digital diversions, Pawnshop Diamond offers something that never loses value: storytelling with a groove. Narratives of modern life are woven into a musical backdrop, which draws on tradition to create timeless songs that will have you thinking as well as singing along.

With flavours of gypsy jazz, folk, and straight-up rock and roll, the band’s sophomore album, Leaning to the Sun, is a hook-laden musical feast. Lyrically, Ormiston continues her exploration of life and love in the 21st century, from accidental affairs and liquor store crushes, to camping trips with friends and eccentric family members.

“There’s a nostalgic element to this record,” says Ormiston. “My Dad was 46 when I was born, and now he likes to say he’s on the sunny side of 80. Many of his friends – who I’ve known all my life – are passing on. I’m kind of looking at life in fast forward in these songs.”

Katie Ormiston’s songwriting has already garnered recognition in the music industry. Cabernet Sauvignon, the first single from the upcoming album, won Music BC’s Songbird West songwriting award, which helped fund the new album. Three of her songs were featured on the soundtrack to the CTV series Whistler. In April, CBC Radio 3 host Lana Gay chose Dig Your Own Grave, from Pawnshop’s debut CD, as her Track of the Day, likening the lyrics to “character descriptions in a play.”

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