Elizabeth Arynn
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Elizabeth Arynn

Des Moines, Iowa, United States | SELF

Des Moines, Iowa, United States | SELF
Band Pop Folk

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This band has not uploaded any videos

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"ELIZABETH ARYNN /THE RIVER MONKS"

At 10 p.m. Thursday, May 26

Wormhole Bar, 2307 Bull St.

Arin Eaton of Des Moines, Iowa uses the stage name Elizabeth Arynn; she writes whimsical folk/pop songs, which she sings in that dry, ironic sort of Ingrid Michaelson/Regina Spektor voice that everyone seems to love. She was, by the way, born in Lexington, S.C. Arynn and her band (including co-vocalist Scott Yoshimura) are touring as part of "Pals Forever," an all-Iowan package that includes the band River Monks.

That'd be Ryan Stier, Joel Gettys, Drew Rausch and Nick Frampton; their band is right out of the Fleet Foxy, Iron & Wine school (acoustic guitars, lush harmony vocals, inspirational melodies) and the added bonus of twin ukuleles. The River Monks have a brand-new album out, Jovials. - Bill DeYoung


"Thanks Internet: Elizabeth Arynn – Drifter"

I adore the internet. I think it is just the bee‘s knees. The fact that we have this little box that can take us to literally anything in the world astounds me on almost a daily basis. But, I think my favorite thing about the internet is when I get to listen to something that I had no idea existed. When I started this column weeks ago, I pretty much stuck to the bands I was used to and was hesitant to branch out; either lack of confidence or an overabundance of laziness (I haven’t decided/come to grips with the truth just yet). But with a gung ho desire to hear every piece of recorded music in the world, I have been exposed to a lot of really cool stuff that I didn’t know was out there. Elizabeth Arynn’s debut album Drifter is one of those really cool things that I wouldn’t have heard if I hadn’t actually sought it out. To be honest, I didn’t have a concrete topic this week, so I decided to listen to this album mostly because I saw she had an album release coming up (more on that below) and thought I would give it a shot. And, wow, am I glad I did.
Arynn is a classic singer-songwriter in the Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, even Natalie Merchant vein. She shares a lot of similarities with them in that she is unafraid to express her feelings and unafraid to try new things, musically. What I think gives Arynn her own voice, is that while her confidence shines through, there seems to be some naivety and playfulness hidden behind the strong woman that adds a little something to the entire package.
The first track “How It Goes” opens with a woodwind riff that segues into some wonderful acoustic piano. The track builds very well into a beautiful “Ooooh” refrain that is capped by the woodwind riff. It is a very adventurous song, sonically, but it all comes together in a beautiful, well produced package.
The second track, “Dreams”, is a very airy tune about unrequited love. In fact it is so jaunty and playful, that I’m in fact only 50/50 that I guessed right. I can’t tell if it’s being serious or if Arynn is taunting someone, either way, I think it works really well.
The next song, “I80” is the first track in a long time that I have heard that I had to listen to repeatedly. The piano work and chorus are so beautiful that I had to listen to it almost immediately after it finished. I think this could be a single on any pop radio station in the world and would be in rotation on VH1 almost immediately (that may seem like a knock, but it is not). “I80” is followed up by the fun a-capella title track “Drifter”, which would lighten up pretty much any bad mood. I liked the tweeting birds in the background as accompaniment; it really added to the feel of the song.
The second half of the album segues slightly from the produced pop and into an almost alt-country vibe with tracks like “Summertime“ “Run Cory, Run“ (which introduces some electric guitar) and “Suburban Life” which I think sounded a lot like a June Carter track. I also really like the last song “Not Long Ago” which tells a beautiful, harmonious love story on a bed of ukulele.
I feel like I should complement the production staff as a whole, as well. The tracks blend beautifully. Each instrument seems to pop, and Arynn’s soulful, almost whimsical voice shines throughout. In a world that is becoming increasingly lo-fi, it’s nice to hear a well-produced independent album. Each song has a very radio friendly feel, which I know seems like a no-no, but sometimes it’s nice to admire a producer who can bring out the best in everyone. There is such a thing as over-produced and such a thing as well produced, and this is clearly the latter. Even the track order seems spot on.
This is an album that I think would speak to the broadest audience. I know a lot of times I have to throw in caveats about who this album is for and who would like it, but I think everyone would like this. This speaks to people who like pop, country, rock. Heck, I think even the hardest of rockers would be charmed by Arynn’s voice and lyrics. Do yourself a favor and check this one out. - Dave Murphy


"Des Moines Scenster: Elizabeth Arynn"

Elizabeth Arynn, 21, is a local singer-songwriter. She plays a CD release show at 10 p.m. Saturday at the Vaudeville Mews, 212 Fourth St.

Q: Your album is called “Drifter.” Have you done much drifting as a musician?

Yeah, I’ve been touring for the past year. Usually to the East Coast, places like South Carolina and Georgia. The album is about moving to South Carolina for college, then coming back home.

Q: What keeps you in Des Moines?

I think it was the music scene. I wanted to be a part of a scene, and I wanted to do that in Des Moines, since that’s where I’ve grown up and gone to shows.

Q: Do you have a favorite spot to play outside Des Moines?

Springfield, Ill., where my album was recorded. I also like playing in Greenwood, S.C. It’s where I went to school and it’s great going back to see people I know. They support me no matter what.

Q: What artists have had the biggest influence on you?

I would say Regina Spektor and Jenny Lewis. I’ve played piano for the last 10 years, and hearing how Regina used piano in pop music with catchy lyrics helped. For Jenny Lewis, the way she writes her lyrics has had a big impact on me. - Joe Lawler


Discography

Drifter - 10/2011

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Bio

At age 9 when living in Edmond, Oklahoma is where Elizabeth Arynn discovered her love for music and began playing the family piano. “I thought it was interesting that I was capable of listening to a song and being able to sit down and figure it out in a matter of minutes,” she stated. Since that time she continues to embrace the arts with her love for music and songwriting; inspired by artists such as Regina Spektor, Jenny Lewis, and Ingrid Michaelson. Elizabeth Arynn is a self taught accomplished songwriter and musician whose writing inspiration comes from past experiences both positive and negative.

Hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, Elizabeth Arynn has recently completed her debut album recorded and produced by Brandon Carnes, and mixed and mastered by Logan Christian of Midday Studios. The album features contributions by The River Monks, Brandon Carnes, Jessica Knight, Tim Williams, Kasey Rogers, Jordi Lafien, Kirk Donley, Dustin Sendejas, &Mallory Heggen, Illinois. Elizabeth Arynn titled her new album the “Drifter” after her debut song. Her album is inspired by taking chances, traveling across the country, and standing strong even when you find yourself alone. It’s earmarked for release on October 4, 2011.