Diamond EP

Debra Arlyn & The Goodness

A highly energetic and melodic blend of Soul, Funk and Pop. Songwriting reminiscent of the 70's and 90's era - topped off with Arlyn's powerful yet delicate and sensual vocals.

On her first release since 2012's "Heartbeat", Debra Arlyn is back with "Diamond", a six-track EP that introduces her new backing band, The Goodness. A seven-piece soul-funk outfit, The Goodness brings to life Arlyn's new musical direction, a style that finds her delivering a highly energetic, melodic, and danceable collection of songs led by the album's infectious first single, "I Am A Queen."

"After releasing my record in 2012, I turned down an offer to move to Nashville and instead gave up music, went back to school in the medical field, had my second child, built a home, and settled in," comments Arlyn on the gap between Heartbeat and Diamond. "After four years of this, and after suffering debilitating postpartum depression, a woman approached my family on the street and offered to buy our brand new home with cash. We said yes and closed within two weeks. I took the money we made on the sale and moved to Walla Walla to upstart a medical transport business and began writing and performing again."

Thus began the roots for "Diamond".

While writing what would become the new EP, Arlyn met her new band - a drummer, bassist, and guitar player - in Walla Walla, Washington. She then merged that band with her Portland band, and The Goodness was born.

Of The EP she says, "The six songs on this EP tell the story beginning with the years I spent struggling with depression and living life without music as an outlet, all the way to the present moment, celebrating my return to a musical lifestyle, touring, singing, and writing."

The EP contains six tracks: 1. I Am A Queen 2. Diamond 3. Boomerang 4. Tiger in the Room 5. Tenderhearted Woman 6. Under the Porchlight

It was produced by Rob Stroup and Debra Arlyn and recorded at both Type Foundry and 8 Ball Studios, both in Portland, Oregon. All songs were written by Debra Arlyn.

Arlyn's Pacific Northwest fans have branded her "the girl with the incredible voice" for her outstanding, soulful live vocals. This helped her land the title of "Portland's finest young pop singer" by the Willamette Week, after making waves winning Clear Channel's “Oregon Idol" contest and competing for the American Idol TV show. Arlyn has also won top prizes around the world in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, Billboard World Songwriting Contest, The Great American Song Contest, The Song of the Year Contest, Unisong International Song Contest, The Singer-Songwriter Awards, and Winery Music Awards" Of her previous work, press has said:

“Filled with dramatic R&B influenced piano pop that makes ample use of her vocal chops, a potential heiress to Christina Aguilera’s throne” - LA Music Connection Magazine

“Can you say ‘blue eyed soul’? Confident and self-assured, Arlyn demonstrates a sense of maturity and poise that takes performers years to cultivate” - All Access Magazine

“Damn. This girl can sing! Perfectly delicate at times and awesomely powerful at others. Her band boasted a poppy, soulful, R&B vibe. Smooth grooves. Catchy, clever arrangements. A very warm and pleasurable sound.” - PDX Music Scene "America’s most underrated artist…” - DJ Bryant KSPR 102.3fm

"The boldly lush voice of Debra Arlyn is a lovely thing that is both tenderly soft and deliciously sensual. With a soulful pop that is playful and filled with a youthful energy, her songs have the light, breezy feel of Spring." - By the Light of the Stereo

"Her band boasted a poppy, soulful, R&B vibe. Smooth grooves. Catchy, clever arrangements. A very warm and pleasurable sound.” - PDX Music Scene

Read more… close

Tomorrow Another Day

Debra Arlyn

Debra's piano-playing and Pop/Soul songwriting standout, but her captivating voice is the focus. From romantic & sweet to bitter & lonely, all songs leave you feeling ultimately hopeful.

DEBRA ARLYN, Portland Music Awards “Best Female Artist of the Year”, continues to gain industry success as 'Portland's finest young pop singers..." says the Willamette Week. While the soulfulness of Debra’s incredible voice is unparalleled, her song writing and performance on her new CD,‘Tomorrow Another Day’ has drawn comparisons to Alicia Keys, Colbie Callet and Carole King.

Debra's songwriting talent has won her ‘Honorable Mention’ in both the John-Lennon Songwriting Contest and Billboard’s World Songwriting Contest , Top prize in the ‘06 ‘Singer/Songwriter Award’ from ‘we are listening.org’, Runner-up at the ‘Winery Music Awards’ sponsored by Best Buy & ifanz.com, and being listed on the annual ‘Top Hot Unsigned Artists’ from LA’s Music Connection Magazine, Debra’s music continues to be recognized on a national level. Her music has been in the films ‘ClearCut’, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on the Sundance Channel, and ‘Valley of Angels’ which won ‘Best Feature Film’ at the NY International Film Festival. Legendary producer Marta Kauffman of ‘Friends’ fame, handpicked Debra’s song “Why Can’t We Start Over?” to be featured on the CW TV show ‘Related’.

Past touring has brought Debra to open for Tower of Power, Chris Isaak, Curtis Salgado & Epic artist Lenka. Also, The Hotel Café in LA, NEMO showcase in Boston, NACA College showcase in Reno, Humphrey’s By the Bay in San Diego, and many prestigious NW Music Festivals. Debra is a regular at West Coast college campuses and has been featured in Campus Activities Magazine. Not only is Debra’s music currently being played on over 50 college radio stations, Debra has cultivated relationships with Oregon’s top Hot AC & AAA Radio stations, including 105.1 KRSK The Buzz, 104.7 KDUK and KINK 102fm. And with recent reviews in “Music Connection Magazine”, “Music Spectator Magazine”, and “All-Access Magazine”, Debra’s music is far out-reaching her homegrown grasp. Though only 23, Debra has come a long way since winning Clear-channels ‘Oregon Idol’ contest and competing for the ‘American Idol’ TV show. While pioneering her own musical path with indie label Homeslice Music, it is clear Debra has something significant to offer the music world as a musician, songwriter, and performer.

REVIEWS:

Northwest CD: 'Tomorrow Another Day' Friday, May 23, 2008 By DON CAMPBELL Special to The Oregonian

With singer-songwriter Debra Arlyn, it's easy to get lost in the slick production, the immediately apparent radio-tailored vibe and the laserlike marketing focus her "package" targets.

But that would be to miss the point. Arlyn, a twentysomething Corvallis native, is releasing her third effort, "Tomorrow Another Day," on her homegrown Homeslice Music Records label. And we'll be surprised if she doesn't hit pay dirt within the next year.

The 12 songs on her sophomore effort are a mash-up of lite jazz, R&B and old-school soul. She composes and performs on piano, but it's her strong, confident voice and way with a melody that sets her apart.

The CD was crisply produced by Rob Stroup at his 8 Ball Studio. He's quickly becoming Portland's hottest record producer. He took her AAA vision and rendered a tight pop record that will not fail to gain major label notice.

Arlyn has done her homework. Rather than slug it out in any sort of club scene, she's set her sights on writing songs that resonate with fellow twentysomethings, so much so that she's already landed several cuts on pop television and indie film. She's also racked up several major songwriting-contest wins, music awards and national-magazine exposure.

And justly. Her songs are well-crafted, the production of each impeccable. If they sound formulaic, it's because she knows her business. There's nothing terribly deep here lyrically, the usual aching-heart laments, but she's good enough that either she will find a mass audience in the modern R&B realm, or her songs will get covered by major stars. Or, likely, both.

Review: Another day, another great CD By THERESA HOGUE Gazette-Times reporter Arlyn starts 2008 with new album and top female vocal honors

The year 2008 started out with a bang for local singer/songwriter Debra Arlyn when she won Best Female Artist of the Year at the First Annual Portland Music Awards in January. Arlyn, who was up against female performers including Jasmine Ash and Linda Hornbuckle, said she was shocked to win the award, which the public voted on through Music Spectator Magazine.

For Arlyn, the award was just the icing on a brand new year, which has brought with it a new album which came out Tuesday, “Tomorrow Another Day,” and a new Web site, www.debraarlyn.com. With her music appearing in two independent films, and the song “Why Can’t We Start Over?” featured on the television show “Related,” it appears that Arlyn is on the brink of major celebrity. But then again, those of us who have known and loved Arlyn and her music since she was a Philomath high schooler have been feeling that way for a long, long time.

And with “Tomorrow Another Day,” all of us waiting breathlessly for Arlyn’s stardom might just finally be requited. I was hugely enamored with her previous release “Complicated Mess,” which still finds its way into the CD player rotation at my house. But I was not at all surprised to find that, yet again, Arlyn has managed to up her game and provide an even more sophisticated and refreshing musical product.

Although American 20-somethings are often accused of being part of a cult of instant gratification, where stardom appears as easy as getting onto one of millions of mindless reality television shows, Arlyn has proven that she doesn’t expect that kind of immediate celebrity. While her fans have been convinced that stardom is inevitable, Arlyn has quietly gone about both promoting her work through videos, tours and CD releases, and has surrounded herself with the best teachers and fellow performers she can find, determined to use this time to improve. And her efforts have paid off, not with a major record label contract, but with the sincere praise of music critics and a growing number of devoted fans.

But back to “Tomorrow Another Day.” With the album’s first song, “Worth the Wait,” like many of Arlyn’s previous works, she seems to be singing about many things at once, both the power of a burgeoning romance, and her ongoing faith in her own professional direction, filled with the hope of something more.

“I never knew things could be so good. After all the sadness I’d encountered, my only wish, and it seems so selfish, I wish that you had found me sooner.”

The second song, “Forever,” felt immediately familiar, and I soon realized that it was a mature adaptation of “Forever’s What I Mean,” on her debut CD, “That Girl is Me.” I was slightly critical of the original version of the song, which I felt had a bit of a glossy teen view of love. Everything I disliked about the original song has been either erased or polished to a gorgeous sheen, and the lyrics have been tweaked to reveal a more mature, earthy view of devotion, but still one filled with youthful enthusiasm (Arlyn, we must keep in mind, is 23).

“There’s no question I’d go crazy without your touch, and no doubt in my mind that to all your faults I turn a blind eye. When I say I want to be with you forever, I hope that’s not asking too much, ’cuz a love like the one that we share, there’s nothing that compares.”

There’s a little more regret in “Tomorrow Another Day,” a little more life lived. In “The Letter,” which is perhaps Arlyn at her most Alicia Keyes-esque, there’s an intense bittersweetness that her previous songs lacked, and her work is the richer for that new voice of experience.

“And it’s too late to call you this evening, and it’s too late to ask if you miss me, and it’s too late to say that I’m sorry, but I know that I’m to blame for making you wait and now it’s too late.”

In “Does It Really Matter?” Arlyn contemplates her quest for stardom, and what kind of sacrifices she might be making as she pursues a career in music.

“The older I get, the more the world offers its distractions. But the more life I live, I ask myself does it really matter?”

I think Arlyn’s fans can safely say that her work is much more than a glorious distraction, and that to us, yes, it really matters.

Article by Jason Geargart North West Noise www.NWNoise.com

"Having listened to Tomorrow Another Day at least 15 times since receiving it in the mail, I must say this studio release is Arlyn's finest achievement in not only production value but also songwriting. The usual Pop/R&B elements to Arlyn's arsenal of music are present and she even adds in some soft rock and disco elements on certain tracks. The track Through To Me has a little musical number in the latter part of the song that, for about ten seconds, makes me think I'm listening to the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. No, John Travolta does NOT make an appearance on this track or the record, for the record.

Some heavy hitters in the music world collaborated with Arlyn with a couple of the tracks from Tomorrow Another Day such as Mariah Carey's first producer, Ben Margulies on Does It Really Matter, hip hop/jazz producer and artist Dapo Tormiro on Worth the Wait and former Portland Prince of Producing, Steve Sundholm on New Favorite Song.

Debra Arlyn is quickly becoming a known and sought after commodity in the music world. Her seemingly tireless effort in making music connects with those who cross her path by offering a 'happiness and heartache' reality check within loving and hurting those we love. Arlyn's pain and passion through song is evident, and will challenge you to reflect, react and respond within the happiness and heart ache in your own life. All I can say is that John Travolta's music never did that for me, and I'm truly grateful for that!"

The Willamette Week May 21, 2008 By Casey Vaughn

[R&B/POP] Corvallis native Debra Arlyn is on a career path that would seem pretty foreign to most of the musicians covered in these pages. The pop songstress—who taught herself piano and began writing songs at 14—won the Clear Channel-sponsored Oregon Idol contest in 2003, earning her a chance to compete for a spot on American Idol. Aryln didn’t make the cut, but her dreams persisted. She dropped out of college to pursue music full-time, and releases Tomorrow Another Day (her third album) this Friday.

While the 23-year-old’s lyricism is still coming along (clever turns of phrase are often mired in love-song clichés), the album’s arrangements are more a refreshing throwback to Babyface-era R&B than in stride with today’s hyperactive beats. WW talked to Arlyn via phone from her Corvallis back yard.

WW: Making pop music, is there a community around you or do you feel like you’re kind of going it alone?

Debra Arlyn: It’s about 50/50 actually. Originally I had a hard time finding the best venues for me [and] artists to share bills with. But I’ve managed to make a really solid group of musician friends, like [Portland R&B band] Intervision and Keegan Smith.

What’s your first memory of singing?

I did a talent show when I was in second grade. I did “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and my dad played piano. That was the first time I performed live, and I was scared shitless. They didn’t pick winners. I was like, “What? We’re doing this for no reason?”

Your dad is listed as executive producer on Tomorrow.

He’s been my manager and the front for the label [Homeslice Music]. He’s incredibly supportive, but when I said, “Hey, I kind of want to drop out of college to pursue music,” he wasn’t like, “Yay!”

What’s the weirdest show you’ve ever played?

It was actually just last week. I did a Borders in Olympia. Let’s just say the people at the Borders were not excited about there being music in the cafe. Everyone was like, “Oh, what?” and they’d get up and walk away. They’re all, “I want to read my magazine!”

The Register Gaurd By Serena Markstrom Published: May 16, 2008 12:00AM

Debra Arlyn is already a star to those who know who she is. And we’re not talking about the supportive but misguided relatives who are devastated when their starry-eyed youngsters don’t make the cut on “American Idol.”

We’re talking about the people Arlyn has won over in small batches since 2006, when she took to the road in earnest as a full-time independent artist.

The Corvallis-based singer recently was named best female artist of the year at the inaugural Portland Music Awards, sponsored in January by Music Spectator magazine. Arlyn was up against such popular veterans as Linda Hornbuckle and Ashleigh Flynn.

Arlyn, with her larger-than-you’d-expect voice, stole away with that prize. And judging by bloggers’ reports on the event, she blew away the crowd with her live performance.

Arlyn is back in Eugene on Saturday, playing at 5 p.m. on the main stage of the Willamette Valley Music Festival. Her Portland CD-release party is May 23, so local audiences have a chance to get their hands on “Tomorrow Another Day” first during this appearance with her full band, which includes trumpet and saxophone.

“Why aren’t you famous?”

Two years ago, about the time she released “Complicated Mess,” Arlyn’s focus was on securing a major label record deal. She has changed her strategy and wants fans to understand that.

Arlyn said during a recent interview that the most common questions she hears after college shows are, “Why aren’t you famous?” and, “Why are you playing my school?”

“It’s really sweet when people say that to me, (but) I wish people would change their perception,” she said. “There’s not overnight success anymore.”

She wants to tell them, “It takes a lot of work to get to your school,” but she knows they mean well.

Building her audience the slow and steady way has allowed Arlyn to mature as an artist. And it will leave her better equipped for fame if it does come her way.

Although Arlyn was the Clear Channel “Oregon Idol” winner back in 2003, she is no longer interested in exchanging control of her music for stardom.

After “Complicated Mess,” which she produced herself, she showcased for a couple of major labels, but no offers surfaced. Hearing horror stories from fellow artists who had been signed to majors, she changed her approach.

Now, she spends up to 12 hours a day working on her career, including numerous one-week tours in which she visits several colleges in one trip.

“I take a lot of pride in my show, and I generally get a good response,” Arlyn said.

Signature sound is still evolving

Newly wed in April, the 23-year-old Arlyn appears happy and well-adjusted. And while she realizes dark and angsty songs are the cool thing to put out right now, it’s not her style.

That style is something Arlyn has a hard time defining. She just knows that her latest release comes closer to nailing down a signature sound — soul, jazz and pop filtered through that gifted voice.

On her second full-length independent release, Arlyn has matured as a songwriter. She also worked her musical connections to bring in producer Rob Stroup and several co-writers.

The new CD boasts a powerful duet, “Not Enough,” with Intervision vocalist Paul Creighton.

For Arlyn, one of her favorite songs was the one that came the easiest. She wrote “Worth the Wait” during a one-hour meeting in Los Angeles with producer and musician Dapo Torimiro.

The song is about a love that came about “not a moment too late” after dealing with “shady” exes and other disappointments. It’s a jazzy R&B number with a traditional pop structure.

Arlyn said the song isn’t about anyone in particular, and that’s another strength of her new project.

“I’m more focused on the craft of the song than having it be about anyone,” she said. “Before, it would be about someone or about an emotion.”

Arlyn also got creative with production treatments. Listen to the fast-paced “Thru to Me,” which glides into a slow reggae beat...

Read more… close
0:00 / ???
  1. 1
    0:00 / 3:49
  2. 2
    0:00 / 4:35
  3. 3
    0:00 / 4:02
  4. 4
    0:00 / 4:30
  5. 5
    0:00 / 3:48
  6. 6
    0:00 / 3:34
  7. 7
    0:00 / 3:46
  8. 8
    0:00 / 4:42
  9. 9
    0:00 / 3:57
  10. 10
    0:00 / 3:13
  11. 11
    0:00 / 4:11
  12. 12
    0:00 / 3:37

Heartbeat

Debra Arlyn

An album about matter close to the heart; faith, hope, love, truth, family and inspiration, all wrapped up in piano pop perfection. Powerful, honest vocals deliver tunes that will leave you feeling uplifted, touched and happy.

Read more… close
0:00 / ???
  1. 1
    0:00 / 3:40
  2. 2
    0:00 / 3:17
  3. 3
    0:00 / 3:48
  4. 4
    0:00 / 3:32
  5. 5
    0:00 / 3:46
  6. 6
    0:00 / 3:14
  7. 7
    0:00 / 4:18
  8. 8
    Hush 3:56
    0:00 / 3:56
  9. 9
    0:00 / 3:19
  10. 10
    0:00 / 3:35

The Get Ready EP

Debra Arlyn

Featuring a smooth, groovy production under Debra's rich, soaring vocals, and lyrical maturity, with songs that dig deeper into the human condition.

The Get Ready EP Produced by Debra Arlyn & Rob Stroup Recorded & Mixed by Rob Stroup at 8Ball Studio in Portland, OR Mastered by Steve Sundholm All songs written by Debra Arlyn Copywright 2009

All vocals - Debra Arlyn Piano & Whirly - Debra Arlyn Drums - Jeff Anthony Bass - Jay Haser Guitar - Bob Dunham & Rob Stroup (Track 3) Sax - Dave Milne Trumpet - Farnell Newton Rhodes, Organ & Whirly - JP Garrau

Homeslice Music www.debraarlyn.com www.myspace.com/debraarlyn tony@debraarlyn.com 541.760.3009

DEBRA ARLYN, Portland Music Awards “Best Female Artist of the Year”, continues to gain industry success as 'Portland's finest young pop singers..." says the Willamette Week. For the past 3 years, Debra has captivated audiences at colleges, major music festivals, and popular music venues. Performance highlights include mainstage shows at the Portland Waterfront BluesFest, both The Bite of Seattle and Bite of Oregon Festivals, and opening for Tower of Power, Chris Isaak, Curtis Salgado & Epic artist Lenka.

Debra's songwriting talent has won her top prizes in the John-Lennon Songwriting Contest, Billboard’s World Songwriting Contest, The Great American Song Contest, Unisong International Song Contest, The Singer/Songwriter Awards, Winery Music Awards and being listed on the annual ‘Top Hot Unsigned Artists’ from LA’s Music Connection Magazine . Her music was in the film ‘ClearCut’, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on the Sundance Channel, and on TV shows including the CW TV show ‘Related’and 'Keeping up with Kardashians ' on the E! Network.

With a strong presence on the West Coast via college radio, Oregon Hot Ac radio, national magazine reviews and thousands of fans though Facebook, iLike & Myspace - Debra’s music is far out-reaching her homegrown grasp. Though only 23, Debra has come a long way since winning Clear-channels ‘Oregon Idol’ contest and competing for the ‘American Idol’ TV show. It is clear Debra has something significant to offer the music world as a musician, songwriter, and performer.

PRESS/ REVIEWS:

Can you say "Blue-eyed soul"? Here's a young lady who's already been favorably compared with Alicia Keys, so let this review of her 2008 release serve as a confirmation of that complimentary connection. Coming from the great Northwest, Debra writes, sings, and produces her own songs, and plays her own piano, too. Arrangements often feature tasteful horns and mellow back-up vocals and harmonies. Debra's voice is clear and powerful, and she's capable of performing the same kind of vocal acrobatics so often engaged in by today's crop of singers -- but thankfully, she mainly projects for effect, without swooping out the vain, frivolous up-and-down warbling indulged in by others. These songs are all piano-based, with capable, often-jazzy instrumental support. It's funny to hear a young talent like Debra singing about what she's learning as she's getting older, as in a song such as "Does It Really Matter," which is filled with some pleasing horn accentuation. But no matter what she's seen and felt so far, as expressed in well-crafted tunes like "Forever" and "The Letter," dang it, she's really still just a youngster, and what a talented one, already with a good ear for the nuances of relationships. The disk's opening track is "Worth the Wait," and as Debra Arlyn continues to mature as an artist, her future efforts should likewise be worth waiting for.

By Rob Swick - ALL-ACCESS Magazine

You know you're going places when the likes of Curtis Salgado, Tower of Power and Chris Isaak ask you to open for them on tour. Of course it doesn't hurt if you've gotten people's attention by winning an Oregon Idol competition and having a set of pipes that would make many female vocalists green with envy. There is no mistaking the talent that singer-songwriter-musician Debra Arlyn possesses, and for those who appreciate singers with passion and verve, she is a triple threat you should not miss.

On her third and most recent album, Tomorrow Another Day, Arlyn's performances call to mind the fervor of Christina Aguilera's thunderous vocals and the soulful beauty of Alicia Keys' piano playing, particularly on "Worth the Wait" and "Forever," a track which Arlyn penned 10 years ago, when she was only 14. Mixing elements of jazz, funk, R&B and even Motown, as on the mid-tempo number "Tell Me Now," Arlyn's recordings are at once familiar and fresh.

Vocally she has become a real stunner, and her songwriting prowess has increased with each subsequent release, so when she talks about love and relationships -- as she does in many of her songs -- the words are heartfelt and her connections to the tracks are palpable. Romantic and dreamy one moment, funky and upbeat the next, the tracks come together to make for a pleasurable ride with twists and turns you will love taking.

By Brian Palmer - THE EUGENE WEEKLY

"I reviewed Debra Arlyn's previous CD, Complicated Mess back in 2006. In fact, it made my 'Best Of' list that year. I was surprised that it was an indie release because it seemed very polished, very produced. I generally like things a little edgier, but I was smitten with Arlyn's voice. So it ultimately won me over. Her voice is still wonderful for that radio friendly AAA crowd. Again, not edgy, but technically very good. The songs are a good match for the vocals. They are melodic, catchy and comfortable. She's got a bit of that soulful, urban pop vibe, sort of like Toby Lightman. Her voice actually reminds me of another artist I've been listening to, Sara Barielles. The opener Worth the Wait makes use of horns and a good infectious rhythm and is a good way to start the record. She is also quite a skilled piano player which shows more in some songs than in others. This would be a fun record to learn and sing along with in the car with the windows rolled down this summer."

By Amy Lotsberg - COLLECTED SOUL "Guide to Women in music"

"The stage is where the girl becomes a woman. Suddenly seeming comfortable in her own skin, in her sexuality, in her place at the focal point of everyone in the room. It's the stage that belongs to her, and not the other way around. And unlike her Britney-esque established competition, she writes her own music and lyrics, and plays piano as well. It's her musicality and talent that will propel her to stardom in the not-so-distant future. Arlyn is diverse in her vocal range, as well as the styles of music she floats seemlessly between. While her pure pop tunes are what will make her famous, it's her jazzy and R&B tunes that will make her stand out from the crowd."

  • MUSIC SPECTATOR Magazine

Debra Arlyn is one of Portland’s finest young pop singers—jeez, I didn’t mean that as a double entendre but, there it is—and she has the hustle to go with the voice. A former American Idol hopeful, Arlyn’s tunes are largely in the “You broke my heart/ I’m not over it yet” lyrical canon, but her rich, R&B-inspired delivery hints at depth to come. There’s an independent streak in this one that bodes well for the music’s future, and—if she keeps working for exposure—makes her a better potential role model for the kids than the current crop of scary pop divas.

By Casey Jarman - THE WILLAMETTE WEEK

"With singer-songwriter Debra Arlyn, it's easy to get lost in the slick production, the immediately apparent radio-tailored vibe and the laserlike marketing focus her "package" targets. But that would be to miss the point. Arlyn, a twentysomething Corvallis native, is releasing her third effort, "Tomorrow Another Day," on her homegrown Homeslice Music Records label. And we'll be surprised if she doesn't hit pay dirt within the next year. The 12 songs on her sophomore effort are a mash-up of lite jazz, R&B and old-school soul. She composes and performs on piano, but it's her strong, confident voice and way with a melody that sets her apart. The CD was crisply produced by Rob Stroup at his 8 Ball Studio. He's quickly becoming Portland's hottest record producer. He took her AAA vision and rendered a tight pop record that will not fail to gain major label notice. Arlyn has done her homework. Rather than slug it out in any sort of club scene, she's set her sights on writing songs that resonate with fellow twentysomethings, so much so that she's already landed several cuts on pop television and indie film. She's also racked up several major songwriting-contest wins, music awards and national-magazine exposure. And justly. Her songs are well-crafted, the production of each impeccable. If they sound formulaic, it's because she knows her business. There's nothing terribly deep here lyrically, the usual aching-heart laments, but she's good enough that either she will find a mass audience in the modern R&B realm, or her songs will get covered by major stars. Or, likely, both.

Don Campbell - THE OREGONIAN

Debra Arlyn is already a star to those who know who she is. And we’re not talking about the supportive but misguided relatives who are devastated when their starry-eyed youngsters don’t make the cut on “American Idol.” We’re talking about the people Arlyn has won over in small batches since 2006, when she took to the road in earnest as a full-time independent artist. The Corvallis-based singer recently was named best female artist of the year at the inaugural Portland Music Awards, sponsored in January by Music Spectator magazine. Arlyn was up against such popular veterans as Linda Hornbuckle and Ashleigh Flynn. Arlyn, with her larger-than-you’d-expect voice, stole away with that prize. And judging by bloggers’ reports on the event, she blew away the crowd with her live performance. Arlyn is back in Eugene on Saturday, playing at 5 p.m. on the main stage of the Willamette Valley Music Festival. Her Portland CD-release party is May 23, so local audiences have a chance to get their hands on “Tomorrow Another Day” first during this appearance with her full band, which includes trumpet and saxophone. Two years ago, about the time she released “Complicated Mess,” Arlyn’s focus was on securing a major label record deal. She has changed her strategy and wants fans to understand that. Arlyn said during a recent interview that the most common questions she hears after college shows are, “Why aren’t you famous?” and, “Why are you playing my school?”

“It’s really sweet when people say that to me, (but) I wish people would change their perception,” she said. “There’s not overnight success anymore.” She wants to tell them, “It takes a lot of work to get to your school,” but she knows they mean well. Building her audience the slow and steady way has allowed Arlyn to mature as an artist. And it will leave her better equipped for fame if it does come her way. Although Arlyn was the Clear Channel “Oregon Idol” winner back in 2003, she is no longer interested in exchanging control of her music for stardom. After “Complicated Mess,” which she produced herself, she showcased for a couple of major labels, but no offers surfaced. Hearing horror stories from fellow artists who had been signed to majors, she changed her approach. Now, she spends up to 12 hours a day working on her career, including numerous one-week tours in which she visits several colleges in one trip.

“I take a lot of pride in my show, and I generally get a good response,” Arlyn said.

Newly wed in April, the 23-year-old Arlyn appears happy and well-adjusted. And while she realizes dark and angsty songs are the cool thing to put out right now, it’s not her style. That style is something Arlyn has a hard time defining. She just knows that her latest release comes closer to nailing down a signature sound — soul, jazz and pop filtered through that gifted voice. On her second full-length independent release, Arlyn has matured as a songwriter. She also worked her musical connections to bring in producer Rob Stroup and several co-writers. The new CD boasts a powerful duet, “Not Enough,” with Intervision vocalist Paul Creighton. For Arlyn, one of her favorite songs was the one that came the easiest. She wrote “Worth the Wait” during a one-hour meeting in Los Angeles with producer and musician Dapo Torimiro. The song is about a love that came about “not a moment too late” after dealing with “shady” exes and other disappointments. It’s a jazzy R&B number with a traditional pop structure. Arlyn said the song isn’t about anyone in particular, and that’s another strength of her new project. “I’m more focused on the craft of the song than having it be about anyone,” she said. “Before, it would be about someone or about an emotion.” Arlyn also got creative with production treatments. Listen to the fast-paced “Thru to Me,” which glides into a slow reggae beat about two-thirds of the way into the song before picking up again. The transition works because Arlyn doesn’t change her vocal style to sing over the reggae rhythm. That makes the change of pace a welcome accessory rather than an affected distraction. “I’m open to all kinds of music,” said Arlyn, who wanted to work with a producer because she had tapped out most of her creative ideas on “Complicated Mess.” “I think you have to expand and keep it interesting for yourself and others.You can’t keep doing the same thing forever.” Speaking of “Forever,” a track by that name is her absolute favorite. She said she wrote it when she was 14. It’s a perky and upbeat tune with folk-rock instrumentation. She said she loves to perform it live. “I haven’t had a lot of struggle — no major depression,” she said. “I’ve always been positive. I’m a real content person. “Let’s write love songs and be happy!”

  • Serena Markstrom - THE REGISTER GUARD

"Having listened to Tomorrow Another Day at least 15 times since receiving it in the mail, I must say this studio release is Arlyn's finest achievement in not only production value but also songwriting. The usual Pop/R&B elements to Arlyn's arsenal of music are present and she even adds in some soft rock and disco elements on certain tracks. The track Through To Me has a little musical number in the latter part of the song that, for about ten seconds, makes me think I'm listening to the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. No, John Travolta does NOT make an appearance on this track or the record, for the record. Some heavy hitters in the music world collaborated with Arlyn with a couple of the tracks from Tomorrow Another Day such as Mariah Carey's first producer, Ben Margulies on Does It Really Matter, hip hop/jazz producer and artist Dapo Tormiro on Worth the Wait and former Portland Prince of Producing, Steve Sundholm on New Favorite Song. Debra Arlyn is quickly becoming a known and sought after commodity in the music world. Her seemingly tireless effort in making music connects with those who cross her path by offering a 'happiness and heartache' reality check within loving and hurting those we love. Arlyn's pain and passion through song is evident, and will challenge you to reflect, react and respond within the happiness and heart ache in your own life. All I can say is that John Travolta's music never did that for me, and I'm truly grateful for that!"

Jason Gearhart - NW Noise Website

"Arlyn has the pipes and point-of-view of a mature songwriter. This young artist is working at a high level and is ripe for major label interest."

  • LA's Music Connection Magazine

The year 2008 started out with a bang for local singer/songwriter Debra Arlyn when she won Best Female Artist of the Year at the First Annual Portland Music Awards in January. Arlyn, who was up against female performers including Jasmine Ash and Linda Hornbuckle, said she was shocked to win the award, which the public voted on through Music Spectator Magazine. For Arlyn, the award was just the icing on a brand new year, which has brought with it a new album which came out Tuesday, “Tomorrow Another Day,” and a new Web site, www.debraarlyn.com. With her music appearing in two independent films, and the song “Why Can’t We Start Over?” featured on the television show “Related,” it appears that Arlyn is on the brink of major celebrity. But then a...

Read more… close
0:00 / ???
  1. 1
    0:00 / 3:36
  2. 2
    0:00 / 4:25
  3. 3
    0:00 / 3:46
  4. 4
    0:00 / 3:31
  5. 5
    0:00 / 3:31

Complicated Mess

Debra Arlyn

A Pop/Rock CD full of catchy choruses, singable melodies, and angsty love-torn lyrics, put together in up-tempo tunes with plenty of ear candy. Debra's radio-friendly vocals are the cherry on top.

DEBRA ARLYN, piano-pop songwriter, and winner of the "06 Singer/Songwriter Award", continues to receives industry acclaim for her remarkable talent as both songwriter and astonishing vocalist. Blending classic styled songs (i.e. Carole King) with a contemporary sound has won Debra comparisons to Alicia Keys and Sarah Mchloughlin. However, there is no comparison for Debra’s soulful, honest, and dynamic voice. Her fearless performance and ability to emotionally engage her audience, earned her the label "The girl with the incredible voice."

Debra's talent has captured the attention of American Idol judge Randy Jackson, producer & songwriter for Mariah Carey, Ben Margulies, grammy winning producer Jeff Weber, founder of Trauma Records,Jim Martone, and president of We Are Listening, Lior Shamir. Also, former CEO of Capitol Records, Andy Slaytor, during a private showcase, commented Debra is "something you wont hear everyday."

In '03, Arlyn won the Fox sponsored "Oregon Idol" contest and competed for the "American Idol" crown. Since then, Arlyn's origional work has earned her a spot on the "Top Hot 100 Artists" by LAs Music Connection Magazine, an exclusive performance at the NACA college showcase in Reno, and a national college radio campaign, spurred by her award-winning song "Fine". Debra's song "Why Cant We Start Over?" was hand picked by legendary producer, Marta Kauffman, of "Friends", to be featured on the WB TV show "Related", and won honorable mention in the "Billboard World Songwriting Contest". Her music has also been featured in films, including "Clear-Cut" which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and “Valley of Angels”, Best Feature winner at the NY International Film Festival.

Debra Arlyn has something significant to offer the music world. Not only is she a musician, songwriter, producer, and performer, she is young, attractive, and gifted with an exceptional voice. There is no doubt, DEBRA ARLYN has the depth and soulfulness of a true artist.

Debra's Musical Accomplishments:

  1. Winner of the "2006 SINGER/SONGWRITER AWARDS" for her song "Fine". Sponsored by www.wearelistening.org.

  2. Twice featured artist on Portlands Emmy nominated entertainment TV show "PDXposed".

  3. Included in the Top Hot 100 Unsigned Artists by Music Connection magazine of 2005.

  4. Debra's sonf "Why Can't We Start Over?" was featured on Warner Bros TV show "Related"

  5. Performed 12 City BORDERS Tour in 2006.

  6. Voted Top Female Pop Vocalist of all time on GarageBand.com.

  7. Wrote and recorded soundtrack for the indie movie Clear Cut screened at the Sundance Film Festival 2006.

  8. Featured artist in Clear-channels and Garageband.com program NEW!DISCOVER MUSIC.

  9. Won the Clear Channel 2003 "Oregon Idol" contest, and was flown to L.A. to compete for the American Idol TV show.

PRESS QUOTES AND REVIEWS:

"Confident and self-assured at 20 years old, singer/songwriter/keyboardist Debra Arlyn demonstrated a sense of maturity and poise that takes most performers years to cultivate. With a voice that recalls the power of Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aquiliera and even Mariah Carey, Arlyn was always in control of her instrument and utilized it to great effect. Whether belting out a song with swelling chorus, being sultry like a torch singer or showing a quieter vulnerability dropping down her voice down a key or two, Aryln exhibited the talent of a seasoned pro." - ALL-ACCESS Magazine

"I like this record, she's very good and the album as a whole is a very slick production, it sounds and looks very major label." - COLLECTED SOUL "Guide to women in music"

"The stage is where the girl becomes a woman. Suddenly seeming comfortable in her own skin, in her sexuality, in her place at the focal point of everyone in the room. It's the stage that belongs to her, and not the other way around. And unlike her Britney-esque established competition, she writes her own music and lyrics, and plays piano as well. It's her musicality and talent that will propel her to stardom in the not-so-distant future. Arlyn is diverse in her vocal range, as well as the styles of music she floats seemlessly between. While her pure pop tunes are what will make her famous, it's her jazzy and R&B tunes that will make her stand out from the crowd." -MUSIC SPECTATOR MAGAZINE "the magazine for the portland music scene"

"Debra Arlyn has grown from an aspiring pop starlet into a singer-songwriter of impressive vocal and emotional dynamics." - THE ENTERTAINER

"Arlyn has the pipes and point-of-view of a mature songwriter. This young artist is working at a high level and is ripe for major label interest." - LA MUSIC CONNECTION MAGAZINE."

"Debra is nonetheless getting music-bizzers abuzz over her TRL- ready voice (a sweet but strong instrument capable not merely of Mariah-like melismatic feats but of real emotion, too) and her more wholesome, less-buxom Britney looks."
- WILLAMETTE WEEKLY

"Between her sexy, soulful, infintely accessible (and, thankfully, unassisted by auto-tune) croon and her whitebread good looks, Arlyn could successfully become a pop diva." - SPLENDID MAGAZINE

"ONCE AND FURTURE 'IDOL' By Marty Hughley THE OREGONIAN

"American Idol" has become one of the most attention-grabbing cultural phenomena of our time, and a viable stepping stone to at least short-term pop stardom. But Corvallis singer Debra Arlyn should be congratulated for falling short of that televised brass ring.

Arlyn won a 2003 "Oregon Idol" competition sponsored by the media conglomerate Clear Channel, but was cut in an early round at the real deal in Los Angeles. So instead of focusing on the superficialities of performance and the interpretive challenges of wretched songs, Arlyn has had the freedom to work on what ultimately counts, or at least what ought to: writing and delivering a good, honest song, making music that reflects her heart, not her marketing plan.

And that work is starting to pay off with "Complicated Mess," the 21-year-old pop hopeful's promising new album. Handling all writing, vocals and keyboards, and producing this (only her second album) on her own, Arlyn sounds impressively mature and confident. Her voice is warm and clear and can affect both a youthful lightness and a richer, more soul-inflected feeling, and she's sussed how to shape the sound of guitars and a taut rhythm section in ways that both support her vocals and build the emotional resonance of the songs.

But as appealing as her voice is (and on that count she has a refreshing sense for when not to use her power and melismatic athleticism), it's the songs that mark Arlyn as a talent to watch. The title track in particular builds around a memorable central hook that's dramatic but never oversold, and throughout the 10 songs she shows a knack for concise structures and graceful melodies. Most notably for a young artist shooting for the mainstream moon, she doesn't slip into the cheesy musical resolutions or lyric cliches that tend to hamper artists of this stripe.

Forging a path to stardom from the base of what's essentially a family-run label out of Corvallis won't be as easy as withstanding Simon Cowell's sarcasm might have been. But Arlyn's clearly headed down the right road. And she might end up someone actually worth idolizing.

"IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL, COMPLICATED MESS." By Jason Gearhart Northwest Noise

Recently, NORTHWEST NOISE was fortunate enough to conduct an online interview with the lovely and talented Northwest pop sensation, DEBRA ARLYN. Arlyn has recently completed her sophomore record titled Complicated Mess, only a year after her debut album Thinking Out Loud created a positive buzz within the national and independent music communities. Arlyn answered a wide variety of questions about her personal endeavors and interests. Id like to call the overall theme to this Northwest Noise online interview piece, Debra Arlyn: Musician in Transition! Read on, my children!

NW: First off, how are you enjoying your summer so far with the release of your sophomore record Complicated Mess and your tour schedule up and down the west coast?

DA: Im very excited about the official release of my CD coming up August 8th. We have tons of fun shows to support the release, from Portland down to San Diego, and its always a blast to travel and play shows in different cities. There really is no better way to spend a summer.

NW: Epic Records recording artist and native Oregonian Justin King produced and lent his musical talents to your debut album Thinking Out Loud. How did you meet King and what was it like working with him on that record?

DA: Justin probably doesnt realize what a HUGE influence he was on me. I met him through a mutual friend that had worked with him before, and I asked him if he would produce my songs for me. I cant believe he actually accepted because he was so busy with his own thing at the time, but Im so thankful he did. I learned so much from him. Every time I listen to Thinking Out Loud and I hear him playing on it, it makes me smile.

NW: You produced the Complicated Mess record all by yourself. What did you learn from King as far as producing a record and did you draw from any other sources to help guide you in your debut producing effort?

DA: Justin taught me about crafting a song through producing, how to make the chorus stand out, and how to simplify melodies so theyre more accessible to listeners. He also was very aware of song length for things like radio. The last thing Justin said to me at the end of our sessions was to never let anyone tell me what to do. To do music that was from my hearthe probably doesnt remember saying that, but it stuck with me. As far as other influences I had, I mostly just listened to a lot of records that were out at the time. A lot of Coldplay and of course Kelly Clarkson. I wasnt trying to copy them or anything, but they were great inspiration.

NW: Both of your albums have similarities and differences in the messages and stories you sing about. Can you expound on some of the similarities and differences between Thinking Out Loud and Complicated Mess? Is the theme within each record a similar one or has your latest release evolved into a whole new thematic machine, so to speak?

DA: Thinking Out Loud wasnt as consistent as Complicated Mess is musically or thematically. Thinking Out Loud was more or less about love and being in love and musically it definitely wandered a bit. With Complicated Mess, every song in a sense is telling the same message; which is that life, and all its various situations like love or following dreams, is a struggle and its complicated. It never works out like we think. I actually remember lying in my bed one night thinking about stuff and saying out loud its such a Complicated Mess. And I knew I had to write a song with that in mind. Thats why the first line of that song is I close my eyes when I lay down at night. Its interesting though that I talk about things being difficult and messy but I dont mean it in a negative way like oh look how tough my life is. I just mean it as more of an observation. Hence why I put the word beautiful in front of Complicated Mess, because it really is fascinating to me how life works out sometimes.

NW: Has your music gotten radio airplay? If so, what Portland and non-Portland stations was your music played on? Are you still getting solid airplay? What tracks from both albums have been promoted and played?

DA: I have been played on various radio stations: Eugene 104.7 KDUK, Portland KINK 101.9 to name a couple. I also am being featured in the Clearchannel and Garageband.com program NEW!DISCOVER MUSIC, which means I am on over 400 Clearchannel radio station websites.

NW: Whats it been like to have performed on the same billing with other prominent Portland, Oregon musicians such as Geoff Byrd and Scott Fisher? Have you learned any ins and outs about the music industry and touring from these up and coming artists or from other artists?

DA: Ive talked a lot with Geoff about the music scene in the Northwest and hes helped guide me a lot. I loved sharing stages with both guys because I really enjoy theyre music. I love Scotts lyrics. He talks about things that are important and his music makes you feel good at the same time. If only he would return my emails

NW: Out of all your musician friends from the Portland crew, whos the biggest wise ass of the bunch?

DA: Paul from Intervision 5. ;)

NW: Has there been one particular gig youve done that stands out more than all the others? If so, which one and why?

DA: I had a great show in January at the Room 5 Lounge in LA. Very intimate venue that was absolutely packed. Great response from the audience and the band played well together.

NW: If I recall correctly, you were discovered through the Oregon Idol competition in 2003 by winning the whole thing. Do you embrace that period of your musical journey, the show giving you the exposure to help your career take off from its musical launching pad or is that time with the show a memory youre glad to forget about and move on from? If you have distanced yourself from that show, why have you decided to do so?

DA: That experience was great. I got a lot of exposure and attention from it which helped me a lot. Im not purposely deciding to distance myself from being the Oregon Idol, I just have to make it clear to people that I do more than just sing. I am a singer/songwriter who plays piano and writes 100% of her music. When people think of American Idol, they think of a person who performs other peoples songs. And I dont do that.

NW: Going back to the very beginnings of your musical evolution, at what age did you learn to play the piano? Did you teach yourself to play the piano and to sing?

DA: Ive never had any vocal lessons or piano lessons. Some would argue thats not a great thing. Ha ha. But it has developed into something that makes me different I think. I taught myself how to play piano at 15. I cant read music so I memorize everything in my head. My dad always worries Im going to fall and bump my head and my career will be over...

NW: Do you come from a musical family that inspired you to explore the music building within your soul?

DA: My dad was a musician all of his life. Lets just say Tony Arlyn and The Mama Feels Goods was the most under-appreciated band of the 70s era.

NW: I was grinning ear to ear when I found out your music had been featured on the WB television series Related. Which song or songs were chosen for the series?

DA: Three songs were played on the show, most notably Why Cant We Start Over? from Complicated Mess. They had an actress on the show perform the song. That was awesome and difficult to watch someone else sing my song.

NW: Is it true that Friends co-creator and executive producer Marta Kauffman discovered your music for Related? If so, how did it make you feel that she wanted your music featured on the show?

DA: I did have a meeting with Marta and the music supervisor for Related. They heard about me through a review in Music Connection Magazine. I almost had the opportunity to be on the show, but I think the lack of acting experience did me in. Its flattering that they liked my music, and I really appreciate the opportunity they gave me.

NW: Okay Debra, heres where it gets good for your fans! Let the asking of the personal and random questions begin! Ill start by asking how you find a healthy balance between your singing career, family, friends and a love life.

DA: I dont really. Music will always come first, but I am young still and I dont like feeling that Im missing out on things with my friends and stuff. Sometimes that gets the better of me and I lose focus. Fortunately my family is so involved with my career and helping to build it, that they keep me in line. And as far as the love lifeI always have time for that. Ha ha. Jk.

NW: Outside of making music, are there any other interests, pursuits or talents that you have?

DA: I scored a documentary that showed in Sundance this ...

Read more… close
0:00 / ???
  1. 1
    0:00 / 3:23
  2. 2
    0:00 / 4:07
  3. 3
    Fine 3:13
    0:00 / 3:13
  4. 4
    0:00 / 4:24
  5. 5
    0:00 / 3:34
  6. 6
    0:00 / 3:01
  7. 7
    0:00 / 3:35
  8. 8
    0:00 / 2:50
  9. 9
    0:00 / 3:46
  10. 10
    0:00 / 3:40