The inimitable Pat Reilly, queer purveyor of shimmery electro-pop gems, has a brand new EP out today; Prince of the Night is an addictive five tracks total, and Reilly has graciously broken down all of them in detail for us below. So, without further adieu, prepare to kick off your weekend on the very best note and PRESS PLAY:
The ‘Prince of the Night’ EP is an exorcism of my bad habits and the calling forth of a new me. I wrote the whole EP during the Coronavirus lockdown and, in a way, it’s a stamp in history of my time during the pandemic.
This year I’ve been confronted with many of my inner demons. I found comfort in my favorite childhood superhero comic books and animations and I decided that I needed to create my own sexy, femme superhero/alter-ego in order to to help counteract the fear and anxiety I was feeling.
‘Prince of the Night’ takes my addiction to my limited belief system and flips it on it’s head. In some of the songs I go to war with the person I used to be. In other songs I shed light on the new perspectives I’m learning. My self-growth and self-examination was my rock during this time of social isolation and I channeled it into the ‘Prince of the Night’ EP. When the EP was finished, I knew that I had purged the parts of myself that needed to be purged and had found my new self in the midst of it all.
“ACT OF LOVE”
I came to my producer Ryan Browne with the idea of creating a song that felt like a mantra. I wanted it to feel almost holy, like the way repeated chants connect you to a higher power. I search for production samples whenever I’m looking for songwriting inspiration, and I found one that I wanted Ryan (producer) to put his own spin on. Lyrically, I tried to incorporate conversations I would like to have with my younger self. I think it puts a nice spin on the idea of this song as a “holy space,” but instead of connecting you to a God, it connects you to your inner child.
“PRINCE OF THE NIGHT”
This is the first song I wrote during quarantine. I was heavily influenced by The Weeknd’s new sound — that 80s pop slap — and I wanted to create something totally fresh for my own project. When Ryan (producer) found the bass line for the chorus we both laughed and screamed, “that’s it!” It sounded like something from my childhood. It was scary but intriguing. I was able to write the chorus almost right away. I wanted the song to have a sort of 80s hour movie theme where the prince of the night was a werewolf — a sort of masochistic addiction.
I was a little lost as to where to take the verses, so I reached out to my friend, songwriter Jesse Saint John (Britney Spears, Charli XCX, Lizzo), and he immediately helped pen some magic. I was hooked! The song ended up taking an even darker turn, with a sort of Stranger Things vibe. Once it all came together lyrically, I knew this had to be the title of the EP.
The song explores my addiction and obsession to the pain I was perpetuating in my own life. It’s a glimpse into what I have been processing and actively trying to change over the past 8 months.
“Let’s Fight” is one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written. It’s simple, and shares the intensity of the anger I felt when I was a kid and I was pushed to the limit.
It has more of a bedroom-pop feel than the other songs on the EP. I wrote the song by myself before bringing it to my producer, Ryan, and he totally nailed the production. The first thing he did was write a little lullaby sound, which is the first thing you hear in the song. It’s beautiful, haunting, and sweet — it feels so personal.
My favorite part is the buildup to the chorus with the double harmony. It has all this space between it yet the harmony lines up so well that you don’t even realize it until the end. I wanted the pre-chorus to be the most emotional part of the song because, in my experience, when we are getting ready to have an argument with someone, the prep we do in our head is the most tense part of any fight. We spend all this time preparing to duke it out but then when the fight actually happens it’s like the floor falls away and you’re just out there on your own. That’s how the chorus sounds to me with the haunting sounds and deep bass. The post-chorus is supposed to evoke that ‘puff out your chest’ feeling, the “I’m ready when you are” moment of a fight. But really, it’s a lie. We don’t actually want to fight. We just want to feel powerful. I think that “Let’s Fight” really captures that naïveté.
“Adamantine” was another track that was built from a guitar sample I found. It had the perfect pop lick. Ryan (producer) made the song sound so huge with the percussion — he is an expert at timing and started pulling in different rhythms to create a groove I didn’t even know was possible.
It took us a while to get the master perfect on this one because we wanted it to sound super crisp. We had to make sure that each sound had a chance to shine. Once the song was complete and that reverb was slapped on the chorus, the song started to feel like a sort of Chromatica-era Gaga track. It’s big, electric, and painful! I’d call this a dark bop!
“WHO U R”
I wrote “Who U R” when I was utterly depressed during the early stages of the Coronavirus lockdown. I wrote it over a sample that reminded me of a combo of Kim Petras, JoJo and T.I. — sort of a weird combination, but just follow me here! When I brought the demo to Ryan (producer), he helped craft it into a sort of sexy, Top 40 sounding anthem that helped uphold the song’s message of self-love.
I was really inspired by the song “Hate The Club” from Kehlani’s new album, It Was Good Until It Wasn’t, and the way she attained the open space in the instrumental of the chorus and the way it helped to spread the song’s message loud and clear. If I was going to write a self-love anthem then I, too, wanted to make sure it got stuck in people’s heads while still being unique.
The second verse of “Who U R” references a moment I had while reading Chani Nicholas’ book, You Were Born For This, earlier this year. While I was reading it, I had a full blown panic attack. I totally didn’t adhere to her advice about going slow and digesting the stars alignment, and instead I felt like my fate had decided against me. My chart is fine, but it’s definitely not without challenges, and I think something about that set me off. In order to emphasize the cosmic nature of what I was exploring in my personal life, Ryan added in some vocal production to make it sound almost like a God or psychic healer is speaking to the listener.
I think that this song really rounds out the EP because it’s the message I had to learn most during this time: to remember that I actually do like myself and that the pain I’m enduring is an old pattern I’m shedding. I don’t have to give up hope just yet! 🖤