“I just want to make lo-fi pop songs with my garbage equipment,” says Polly Llewellyn, who records under the name Peachy Fingernail. The newest in a steady stream of releases since May of 2020, her new album, I’m Nothing If Not a Silly Girl, will come out this February. Drawing inspirations from movie soundtracks she grew up with as well as artists like Björk and Deerhunter, Llewellyn pieces together her eclectic tracks using any and all equipment at hand. “I have very low professional standards—until its time for people to hear it, and then I get upset about my low standards in recording,” says Llewellyn with a laugh.
Exploring the intimacies of sex in her lyrics, Llyewellyn uses music as a way to validate her sexuality. She sites Björk’s “Cocoon” off of the album Vespertine as being a very formative listening experience. “[‘Cocoon’] is extremely sexual,” says Llewellyn, “She’s literally saying, ‘He fell asleep and he was still inside me,’ as if that was the most beautiful thing in the world. And that was crazy to me.”
While never shying away from the details of sexuality—writing lines such as “I sucked a demon’s cock right off and took his cum all in my mouth / I hope I don’t see him again,”—Lleweyn aims to discuss the balance of lust, tenderness and betrayal rather than plainly shock listeners. “Saying sexual things feels so comforting,” says Lleweyn. “Sex exists, I exist in a relationship with sex, sex helps me know who I am and I love it … [but] I’m still frustrated. There’s a reason you write songs about some things because you can’t figure out quite how to say it.”
Llewellyn continues an open discourse when it comes to her experience being transgender. “It’s hard to be trans and not have this weird internal mythology of yourself and what it means to be you,” say Llewellyn. Not knowing many trans people when starting to question her gender, Llewellyn struggled to validate her experiences living with gender dysphoria until she was able to make friends in the trans community and trust what she was feeling. “Following an impulse is so central to how I make music,” says Llewellyn. “I hit record before I figure anything out most of the time.”
Make sure to listen to I’m Nothing If Not a Silly Girl when it releases this month, along with other Peachy Fingernail releases on Bandcamp. You can follow Llewellyn on Instagram @peachyfingernail and on Twitter @nevadaface.