Party Nails is the pop incarnation of Los Angeles-based songwriter/guitarist Elana Belle Carroll. Originally hailing from upstate New York and coming to LA via NYC, she has written, produced and performed original music since age 11. Initially making pop music wasn’t even on her radar, and over the years she spanned from Americana to electronica. It took some experimenting with pop writing and production for her to realize she was a little obsessed. It took a serendipitous path-crossing with artist Julia Baylis for the sun-filled, punk-edged Lolita look to come into focus. And then Party Nails was born. The name “party nails” came from watching a group of girls get ready for a night out. Their nails were a relatively small detail, but decorating them provided a sense of excitement and empowerment, sort of a modern mating ritual or war paint. By the same token, it’s the details that make Party Nails’ music stand out: the vocal delivery, the lyrics, the arrangements. The effortless vulnerability in every vocal take provides a similar sense of empowerment: the relief that comes from knowing someone else has felt that kind of heartbreak too. What’s that thing about “the personal is universal”? Well it’s true, and that’s why it’s so important for pop music to come from a place of authenticity: it’s everywhere, and it’s a huge part of our emotional lives. Landing in a celebratory indie-pop land somewhere between Robyn, HAIM, and Charli XCX, Party Nails gives us the details we’ve been missing. And in the end, the whole is greater than the sum of its glittering parts.
After releasing two singles in 2015, Party Nails is set to release her first EP on February 10th. She’ll be hosting her EP release party during School Night Bardot on February 6th. Her video for “Better” (co-directed by Lindsey Byrnes and Davy Greenberg) premiered January 17th on Nylon.
Party Nails’ forthcoming EP Come Again is equal parts pop and new wave, solitude and collaboration. “Blow Me Away” and “One by One” are both collaborations with Brooklyn-based producer/songwriter Shadom, who also produced Party Nails’ first-ever single “Break”. “Better”, “Outside Heaven” and “Come Again” were co-produced with LA-based Caleb Shreve and Jon Siebels. Shreve also produced the single “No Pressure” which came out November 2015.
—2017 Kerry Alexander