Whitney Lyman Exemplifies Carefree Happiness In Latest Single “There Is No Rule”
By Justice Petersen
In her newest release, LA-based pop musician Whitney Lyman urges listeners to let loose in a light-hearted and playful pop anthem. “There Is No Rule”, the first single to be released ahead of her upcoming 2024 album “Love Spell”, is purposely a “goofy and silly” track according to Lyman, as it’s inspired by the vibe and sunshine of Palm Springs.
Co-written with Jan Vávra from the Czech Republic, who had never been to Los Angeles before, Lyman and Vávra wrote “There Is No Rule” over rosé by the pool, and the catchy single seems to be just as refreshing and inviting as a cool glass of the sparkling drink. This song contrasts with Lyman’s previous work, which she says had usually been more deep and emotional.
“Not that it has to be, but that’s just what I ended up writing the most because of what I was going through at those times,” Lyman says. “But it was nice to be like, ‘Oh, wow, this is a totally different vibe for me.’ But it’s definitely something within that needs to also be expressed, so it was super fun to write that song and just make it fun.”
Combining 1970s rock with 1990s pop, Lyman’s work sounds like Queen and Fleetwood Mac meets NSYNC and Britney Spears. Her music exemplifies her unique sound and style which is a blend of pop, rock, and jazz from various decades. Whether her music is lighthearted or melancholy, listeners will feel moved and inspired by her beautiful vocals and folk-inspired compositions.
Having loved singing since the age of 3 and coming from a heavily musical family, Lyman has been a musician for almost her whole life. In the 1970s, her mother and aunts were in a family band and Lyman’s grandparents would sew their stage outfits. From her family’s history, it seems like Lyman was always destined for music.
“As long as I can remember, I just knew that’s what I wanted to do,” Lyman says. “I know it’s not that easy for some people, at least to have a direction. So I do feel lucky [about] knowing this is what I’m meant to do in this life.”
Growing up in an unstable childhood and constantly moving around, Lyman says that music was the one constant in her life. It’s a cathartic way to help process emotions amidst all the chaos that life brings.
“I am somewhat shy in nature, so being on stage and being in front of people is really difficult sometimes,” Lyman says. “But when I get into my music zone, I feel so comfortable. I just feel like I’m here. I have something to put out into the world and…it’s very healing.”
Back in early September, Lyman attended Mastering the Music Business, a music business conference and festival held in Romania. Lyman was able to perform in Bucharest and spoke on a panel with industry professionals where she shared her experiences as an American independent artist.
“It was my first time in Romania, and Bucharest is such a magical world. It’s different from anywhere that any place I’ve ever been,” Lyman says. “And then, of course, getting to share my music and perform for people was a huge opportunity. I love being on the stage; the audience there is so much more receptive. I feel like they’re not afraid to show their emotions and how they feel and how much they love the music or whatever they’re seeing.”
As an artist, Lyman enjoys experimenting with various genres. Whether it’s more 1980s pop inspired like her 2019 EP “Piece of My”, or whether it’s more acoustic and mellow like her 2018 album “Pleasure Pain”, Lyman admits she has a split musical personality that branches off into many different directions.
“I have so many influences and things that I love [and] I want to do everything…and really what I am working towards in the future is converging those into one sound of ‘Whitney Lyman,’” she says.
Despite pressure from people in the industry to hone in on one sound, Lyman says she doesn’t want to become manufactured or have all her music sound the same.
“I’m continually growing and evolving as a musician too and getting new influences all the time, so I expect that in my output as well,” she says. “I think a lot of times certain artists just get pigeonholed into ‘this is what you sound like and I want every single song you make to now sound like that.’ Which doesn’t make sense. We have to change and grow, right?”
“There Is No Rule” is the first single to be released from Lyman’s upcoming album “Love Spell”, expected to come out in early 2024. On this album, Lyman says she is continuing to put a modern twist on vintage musical styles. The title track, inspired by witchcraft, was written about how you shouldn’t use love spells to force somebody to love you.
“You want them to make that choice they want,” she says. “You want them to choose you, and that’s what I deserve rather than trying to manipulate someone else into loving me. And I think that’s a really good message of self-love. Even though it might be taken as more romantic, that’s not what it’s about.”
Lyman says that she is striving to write love songs that are different from those from the 1950s and 1960s, which were often written in ways that romanticize, glorify, or forgive toxic relationships.
“Even the old songs of the past that I love, like Motown for example, it’s just ‘even though you treat me bad and abuse me I’m still in love with you and I’ll do everything for you,’” Lyman says. “I feel like as a whole, we as humans have evolved past that.”
Whitney Lyman writes cathartic music, as it’s an expression of healing and processing complex emotions. Whether it makes you want to dance by the pool or causes you to reflect on yourself, Lyman’s music will always make you feel seen while you’re hooked by her addicting compositions.
“There Is No Rule” is out now.
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