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Siamon’s pennies from heaven 

Becky Siamon’s anticipated album was a journey toward abundance for the singer-songwriter.

A Becky saved is a Becky earned.
  • A Becky saved is a Becky earned.

Poor little pennies don't get a lot of love. They're brushed aside, left behind, tossed and forgotten. But Becky Siamon sees worth in the often-disrespected coins. To her, they're little bits of a bigger picture.

The copper-haired singer-songwriter's love of pennies has proven to be what she calls "elemental" to the concept of her debut album Breakfast Epiphanies, which will be released this weekend as part of In the Dead of Winter.

"The penny is that thing that you discard, but if you were to gather them all of them, which I'd have a lot. It's about not overlooking the small things," says Siamon, who soaked in a tubful of over $100 in one-cent coins for her album's cover art. "It's about passing through experiences to realize that everything is abundant, and OK," she adds, saying that making the album was a journey toward that realization.

It was a journey in more ways than that, though. While making a solo album has been on her mind since childhood, the road to its fruition began back in 2009. With encouraging nudges from musician-friends and loved ones, she took the leap, seeking guidance from producers Shaun Ryan and Matt Myer. Siamon picked the best of her songs (including one she penned at 15), gathered a stacked entourage of bandmates, like Dave Burton and Gypsophilia's Nick Wilkinson, Alec Frith and Myer, and started recording in the fashion of her rootsy, blues and country influences---unrehearsed and live off the floor.

And then came the three years of working, waiting, learning and living that made Breakfast Epiphanies the tight package that it is. Though the live aspect of the recording played to some strengths for Siamon---a former member of Halifax bands The Johnson Sisters and The Hurtin' Unit--- she wasn't fully sold on her vocals and eventually re-recorded about two-thirds of them. "I needed to let it sit," she says. "It was really about being able to do what I could hear in my head. During that time learned a lot about singing and I wanted the recording to reflect that."

Taking the time to let it all soak in and being patient enough to allow herself to evolve as an artist seem to have been just as elemental to the record as the pennies, but Siamon still calls it a long time coming. That said, Saturday's release will be just as cathartic as writing the songs was. "Experiencing the emotional through art---it kind of cleanses you," she says. "Like the Greek plays, people would watch the comedies and the tragedies and it would kind of cleanse them of their emotional baggage."

Keeping the bigger picture in mind while allowing for life to happen paid off in the end for Siamon and her the labour of love that is her debut album. And it doesn't hurt that she's been picking up pennies along the way.

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