The brainchild of singer and songwriter Tiffany Arbuckle, Plumb began as a Christian rock group whose music often dealt with darker and edgier themes than most CCM acts, and later evolved into Arbuckle's solo project, which was more pop-oriented but still deeply personal. Embracing elements of alternative rock, electronica, and dance music as well as contemporary pop, Plumb began as a proper band fronted by Arbuckle, and they enjoyed a breakthrough with their second album, 1999's candycoatedwaterdrops, which was a multiple Dove Award winner and scored a hit with the song "God-Shaped Hole." However, the group was also criticized by many in the Christian music community for their bold lyrical stance, and Arbuckle considered retiring from performing before a message from a fan convinced her to continue. Breaking up the band, she began using the name Plumb for her subsequent solo work, earning acclaim for the adventurous alternative pop/rock of 2003's Beautiful Lumps of Coal and 2006's Chaotic Resolve. After taking time off to focus on her family, Plumb returned in 2013 with the critical and commercial success Need You Now, and she launched her own label to release 2018's Beautifully Broken.
Arbuckle was born in Indianapolis and grew up in Atlanta, where she played several gigs as a backup singer and wound up touring in that capacity instead of going to college, as she'd planned. She relocated to Nashville, where she landed a record deal based on her session and backup work and formed Plumb with a neighbor, songwriter and producer Matt Bronleewe. Plumb issued two studio albums, 1997's Plumb and 1999's candycoatedwaterdrops, and built a following with their alternative rock sound. When the group's relationship with their label, Essential Records, began to fray, they issued a hits compilation in 2000 and disbanded, with Arbuckle deciding to pursue work as a songwriter instead. However, a note from an inspired fan convinced her to soldier onward as a performer, and Arbuckle, now using Plumb as a stage name, inked a solo deal with Curb Records in 2003. That same year, she co-produced her solo debut, Beautiful Lumps of Coal, and landed two of its songs — "Sink n' Swim" and "Boys Don't Cry" — on the soundtrack to the Gwyneth Paltrow film A View from the Top. Another compilation from the group era, Simply Plumb, arrived in 2005, followed by Chaotic Resolve in February 2006.
Following the release of Chaotic Resolve, Arbuckle found herself pregnant with her second child, effectively rendering her unable to tour. Upon the urging of her husband, she remained home and penned Blink, a song cycle inspired by lullabies, which was released in October 2007. 2009 saw the release of Beautiful History, a career-inclusive compilation that included a number of rarities and unreleased tracks; one new tune on the set, "Hang On," became a hit on the Dance Airplay and Dance Club Play charts. Arbuckle ended her maternity leave with her sixth studio album, 2013's Need You Now, which reached the number two slot on the Christian Albums charts. In 2014, Arbuckle published an autobiography, Need You Now: A Story of Hope. After the release of 2015's Exhale, she cut ties with Curb Records, and formed her own label, Plumb Music. She launched the label with a five-song EP, God Help Me, in July 2017, while a full-length album, Beautifully Broken, followed in June 2018. ~ Steve Huey & Andrew Leahey