Album review: Party Nails Past Lives and Paychecks + Q&A

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photos / Lindsey Byrnes

story / Chloe Robinson

Los Angeles electro-pop artist Party Nails has released her highly acclaimed debut album entitled Past Lives and Paychecks. Showcasing an eclectic blend of pop, electronic and even a little of punk, she touches on many profound themes that are deep and very personal to her including money, love and loss. A 12-track release, each song is upbeat, enthusiastic and passionate, featuring bittersweet heartfelt lyrics.
A singer, songwriter, producer and guitarist, Party Nails is versatile in her craft. She’s found success touring the US with PVRIS, Lights, MitiS and PRXZM. I had the pleasure of interviewing Party Nails discussing everything from album inspirations to artist influences and more.

The songs on your album are inspired by your personal experiences and feature themes of money, power, love, and loss, is there a song that you feel most emotionally connected to?
It changes day to day, they all feel very close to me. I Go To You always hits a nerve when I perform it.
Your music is a unique mix of pop, alternative, electronic and even a hint of punk, who are some artists that you’d say have influenced you the most?
Robyn is my number one. I also am super influenced by SZA, Sheryl Crow, Grimes, Tina Turner, and Prince.
I understand your songs feature bittersweet songwriting paired with dance vibes, is there a specific meaning behind that juxtaposition?
Dancing is cathartic. Getting in touch with your feelings is cathartic. When “Dancing On My Own” plays on the dance floor, I look around and I cry. I’m surrounded by dancing people singing at the top of their lungs, letting go of their heartbreak and smiling at the shared experience of singing along to the song together. This blend of bittersweet and dance is so powerful. Robyn really inspired me to explore that. It’s magic to witness a moment like that. I want to create moments like that.
What was the inspiration behind titling the album Past Lives and Paychecks?
My friend suggested the title to me one day. I had sent him a link to listen to the songs before they were mastered, and he texted me and said: “almost all of these songs are about past lives or paychecks.” It resonated with me so much. I think a lot about past lives and paychecks. We don’t choose the financial cards were given in this life, and yet so much of our lives are dictated by them. I grew up with very little financial support, put myself through college, etc. Even now I’m totally financially independent, Party Nails. The word “paycheck” is a word for all of these money experiences. It affects who you are and how you need to use your time, and how you structure your values. I imagine this must work the other way too when you have a lot. It’s a weird world we live in today.



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