Interview: 90s Nostalgia and Daydreams Fuel PYNKIE’s New Album

Written by Gordon Beck

Lindsey Radice AKA PYNKIE is a registered nurse by day and a bubbly pop star by night. Inspired by childhood memories and a host of 90s and 00s memorabilia, her third record Songies aims to capture feelings oftentimes indescribable in an effort to bring its listeners a sense of relief amidst complicated life events. Her music blends things equal parts weird and fun to create pop ballads as quirky as they are accessible. I talked with PYNKIE to understand how she came to such unexpected career choices and pinpoint where exactly the personality in her music comes from. 

Gordon: You got into music in college. Was that nursing school? 

PYNKIE: Yeah. I went to William Patterson in New Jersey. My friend there showed me how to record myself. It was a joke at first. I could not take myself seriously. I just thought it was fun, but I didn't want to make a serious love song or whatever. I felt too weird doing that, so I just made silly songs, but then I don't know what happened. One day I was like, you know what? I think I'm getting good at this. I'm gonna make a real song. And I also met somebody who worked at a studio in Brooklyn who became my boyfriend at the time. It’s called Mission Sound. King Princess, that girl who's kind of famous now, her dad owns it, and this dude worked at it. So we would use it after hours. And that's how I made my first album. 

Gordon: Was there a specific song you wrote where you realized that you wanted to take this more seriously?

PYNKIE: The first song I really released on the internet that had, like, real production was called "Ghost," and it's actually about being haunted in college because I was totally haunted, me and my roommate. It was during Hurricane Sandy around Halloween time. There was a blackout in the dorm. One of our suitemates couldn't go home from the storm so we all stayed in the blackout with her. We were like, well, let's do something fun and creepy for Halloween, so we drew a Ouija board on a piece of paper. Next thing you know, for a couple years lots of shit went down. We saw things fly across the room, I've seen things appear in front of my eyes, objects in the air. Eventually it went away. I don't really know how, but thankfully it did.

Gordon: Maybe you dispelled it through your music. 

PYNKIE: A lot of my songs after that were love songs, or at least they seem like love songs, but maybe they have another meaning underlying.

Gordon: Does your day job influence your songwriting? I imagine that nursing could be a difficult occupation, but your music sounds very upbeat and relaxing. Is there a crossover there?

PYNKIE: Not really, except that my job makes me really want to have a creative outlet because, yes, it's stressful and crazy. So as soon as I leave there I want to write a song or just chill at home. So it kind of inspires me to do it, but I don't write about things that happen at work. Mostly my writing comes from flow of consciousness. Like, you know, just letting it come to you as if you're some kind of meat radio picking up on something. I don't even know where it comes from. It's usually like a subconscious thing that I figure out later what it means. 

Gordon: Your songs talk about fictional characters and alternative realities. Outside of songwriting do you write fiction at all? Did you grow up consuming a lot of fantasy? 

PYNKIE: I definitely watched a lot of movies growing up and I loved cartoons growing up. Cartoons are always a big influence. Spongebob Squarepants.

Gordon: I'm getting those vibes hardcore.

PYNKIE: Those probably leak in there. But lyrics are the weirdest part for me. I start with the melody usually and somehow lyrics fit in there later. 

Gordon: You’ve described your music as a way to sublimate your emotions. Do you use it as a way to regulate or help you make sense of the world? 

PYNKIE: Yeah, I think it helps me make sense of my own feelings at least. Sometimes I don't even know how I feel and then I write a song and I think that the lyrics don't mean anything. But then I'm like, oh wait, that actually does mean something to me. Or it just helps me feel better about things.

Gordon: Do you have a favorite song you’ve written recently? 

PYNKIE: A song off the new album called "Lately." I think that one's cool. The lyrics are pretty meaningful. It's about friends that I've had to cut off in recent years because I realized they have toxic behavior. But it’s also about past relationships because, you know, I've been in some toxic relationships in the past with friends and boyfriends. But the point is, it's a song about letting go of that. Realizing it and letting go of it. And I just really like the vocal melodies in it. 

Gordon: One last question. Do you have a favorite record?

PYNKIE: There's multiple, obviously, but I'm going to go with, since one of my songs is kind of named after it, Totally Crushed Out by That Dog. I really friggin’ love that record. It's like so 90s and they have such cool vocal melodies in there with cool harmonies that I just never hear. None of the songs are skippable in my book. 

Songies is available now on vinyl and streaming.

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