"Seattle singer/songwriter Whitney Lyman can only be described as a kind of space traveler, able to embody any musical form required for the gig. She can go indie rock one minute, then turn a corner into dreamy pop with smatterings of folk and classical, into a gospel choir no one on earth’s ever heard before. Her voice is like that of two thousand angels descending down into the night, arms stretched outward pouring broken maple leaves and backward Northwest rain." -AXS
"Local powerhouse singer-songwriter Whitney Lyman opened the night [for The Bird And The Bee] with a six-song set, making a noticeable impression on many in the crowd. Backed by a three-piece band, Lyman’s voice is a driving force. When she growls she’s sweet as pie, but her big notes howl like the wind." -Seattle Music News
"Whitney Lyman. She has some really superb songwriting and her music walks this really beautiful line between folk, pop, and rock, is that a line or more like standing somewhere in the middle of a venn diagram?" -Secretly Important
"The Theoretics reveal echoes of The xx’s earlier work. When the five-piece 'livetronica' band pairs with more subdued vocalists like Whitney Lyman (“Nightwalker”), the comparison only becomes more apparent, even irresistible." -Seattle Times
"Lyman writes music like a surrealist paints, layering the bizarre and the divine into one mind-expanding canvas." - City Arts Magazine
"She has some really superb songwriting and her music walks this really beautiful line between folk, pop, and rock, is that a line or more like standing somewhere in the middle of a venn diagram?... Whitney has a certain cadence to her melodies that are really unique and jarring in the best way possible." -Secretly Important
"She’s a rich, youthful blend of indie originality and easy popularity, with a magnetic voice and an intuitively fluid lyricism that captures the gothic majesty of a thousand ancient churches, headed light years into galactic reaches. Gauzy, cavernous, yet pure, able to pierce the heart of the story, the pulse of a catchy beat, the turns and spins of a melody ramp." -AXS.com (see more)
"Singer/songwriter Whitney Lyman can bring out the lyrical hook in any rough track, with a sound that’s a cross between nostalgia and visionary." -The Examiner.com
"With her single, “Laser Beam”, Lyman just may have invented a new musical style: dream pop." -AXS
"Whitney Lyman‘s elegant voice lends itself well to such a beautiful song 'Laser Beam.'" -Northwest Music Scene
"More genre-flauting meta-music from Seattle's most forward-looking rockstar-shaman. "Mind Matter" is more immediately fun than Vox Mod's usual jams, a bouncy electro-pop nugget featuring lush vocals from Whitney Lyman. It'd be all over mainstream FM were there any justice in the world." -Jonathan Zwickel, City Arts Magazine
"All of the songs on the self-titled album [Supersonic Parachute,] are nicely arranged pop songs with R&B leanings that use Lyman’s voice particularly well, but it’s the fourth song, “Love is a Spark” that has me hitting replay over and over again..It has exactly what I look for in a great pop song: effervescent harmonies, a big, smart, catchy-as-hell chorus, a nicely constructed bridge and a sexiness that is both underlying and overt." -Chris Burlingame, The Sun Break
"Pacific Northwest critics took notice, as did a growing group of fans. Transfixed by her voice, which seemed to go on forever, often on just one note, told a whirlwind of stories through inflection, phrasing and timbre. Her debut album incorporated as much of the world as she could muster, from Indonesia’s Gamelan bells and drums to a big band’s worth of sectionals." -Carol Banks Weber AXS.com
Whenever she sings, Seattle-based songwriter, Whitey Lyman, takes on a new form. In one moment she’s in midnight-purple shroud, humming low. In another, she’s throwing twin dice and exploding into a beam of starlight. Lyman, whose music is born from mystical sensibilities, has shared this spirit with a wide array of audiences, from Sofar Sounds in New York with an acoustic to Jimmy Kimmel Live in L.A. with the Grammy-nominated Odesza.
Lyman, a multi-instrumentalist, has performed with standout Emerald City projects Pollens, the Seattle Rock Orchestra and Theoretics. But she released her debut solo record, Pleasure/Pain, in May 2018. Equal parts spiritual and forlorn introspection, the album was recorded at the famed London Bridge Studios and features myriad instrumentalists including the Grammy-winning violinist, Andrew Joslyn. It received acclaim from outlets like King5 News and Artist Home.
Inspired by a dream in which Lyman, in poisonous snake form, bit herself to avoid an oncoming eagle’s capture, Pleasure/Pain showcases the artist’s gambling nature. Lyman never stays in a single place long, switching between vocals, guitar, piano and bandleader. She finds a home in indie rock, soul, dream pop and the ethereal corporeal. Lyman’s work casts a long shadow. Like silver-blue moonlight creeping over your rooftop. (Jacob Uitti)
With her full-length Pleasure/Pain, released May 8th, songwriter Whitney Lyman solidifies her place as Seattle’s dream-pop priestess. Pleasure/Pain’s crystalline vocals and spiraling orchestral arrangements, infused by both jazz complexity and pop familiarity, lulls Lyman’s audience into a sweet, spiritual hypnosis. The much-anticipated debut comes after close to a decade of performing and collaborating in Seattle with such artists as Seattle Rock Orchestra, Pollens, The Theoretics, and most recently, the popular electronic duo, ODESZA, with whom she performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
At the forefront of Pleasure/Pain are Lyman’s dreams, more specifically, the Ouroboros snake of eternity and paradox, which she has tattooed on her forearm. Lyman dreamt she was that snake in the sand. As an eagle circled her, she thought to bite her own tail to poison herself, and ultimately the eagle as well. The dream, about finding sameness in a dichotomy, has hung with her, accounting for her lyrical and sonic play with competing ideas. In her song, “The Fount,” Lyman lyrically explores the dark and light inside us, as the music swirls in its cyclical structure, and a raga-like mood, it mirrors the tension of the underlying concept. Finally, the repetitious plucked string melody releases to the message at the climax: “If you let it come out, you’re the fount.” These are the sorts of gems of spiritual wisdom, underscored by her meticulous musical arrangements, that give Lyman’s music a compelling edge.
At the same time, Pleasure/Pain has an undeniable pop influence. Lyman can’t help but pay homage to the pop greats that’ve inspired her, especially The Beatles, Queen, vocal powerhouses like Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, and the iconic pop producer Max Martin. It all comes out in the polished performance and production of Lyman’s own vocals, in moments that showcase her musical training and personal style. The lead single off the album, “Don’t Look Back,” for instance, shows Lyman’s incredible range and tendency towards soulful embellishments.
Lyman’s vision is bolstered by the recording, production, and fellow musicians on Pleasure/Pain. Pleasure/Pain was recorded at Seattle’s legendary London Bridge Studio, where such local royalty as Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Macklemore, and Death Cab for Cutie have recorded. She also worked with producer Jonathan Plum, known for his work with Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and Brandi Carlile, as well as Geoff Ott, who mixed and mastered Pleasure/Pain. As well, Lyman’s band has some of the brightest lights on the Seattle scene today, including violinist Andrew Joslyn, who’s recorded with Macklemore, Kesha, Mark Lanegan and Duff Mckagan from Guns N’ Roses, cellist Sam Anderson of Hey Marseilles, drummer Adam Kozie of Pollens, and bassist Evan McPherson of Spyn Reset.
With the release of Pleasure/Pain, Lyman will invite listeners to touch the sting of existence, to immerse themselves in a rich, sonic dream world. The show will feature Lyman’s newly-polished arrangements and include the complete and expansive instrumentation she used in recording.