MUFFY NIXON While the rest of the girls in her Washington neighborhood were giggling away their golden hours with Barbies and playing dress-up, little Muffy Nixon was penning freaky tunes about her friends and family. When she wasn't taking piano lessons, the seven-year-old would perform in her parents' living room, which also happened to be the waiting room for her mother's in-home psychiatric practice. 'It was total chaos all the time,' recalls Muffy. 'Sometimes I'd eavesdrop on my mother's sessions and make up songs about the conversations. Then I'd burst into her office and sing. The patients must've been horrified,' she laughs. 'They're trying to get help, when some insane kid suddenly interrupts with songs about their problems. I remember one patient went into labor in the middle of her session and I started singing to her as she began to deliver. There was always something to sing about.' Fifteen years later, Muffy is still writing twisted songs about emotional wreckage, but this time it's her own. Her stunning debut album is filled with sharp pop melodies and pointed barbs about broken hearts ('Shoulda Known'), addiction ('Planet Earth'), giant drag queens ('Fame') and unrequited love ('Hey Dude'). Muffy fleshes out her feelings with a powerfully emotive voice that alternately conveys feelings of love and fear, yearning and regret, hope and longing. Over the grooving backbeat of 'American Blue Jeans,' she struggles with the painful memories of a faded relationship. After years of dues-paying on the New York club circuit, collaborations with the likes of Stephen Trask (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and Meredith Brooks, Muffy laughs. 'Co-writing is like dating, sometimes you write just one song and it's kinda like, 'Wow, that sucked.' Then other times you'll write 10 songs and think, 'Ohmigod, I'm in love.' I've been in a few writing sessions where I felt like, we should just skip this and go get a drink somewhere.' Muffy, currently living in New York, co-wrote the album with up-and-coming producer Chris Rodriguez, a partnership she describes as 'magic.' 'We met in New York at a time when I was open to trying anything so I flew to Miami to work with him,' she says. 'I expected it to be just like all the rest, but we really clicked in an unusual way. We wanted to tell stories and write songs that would transport you, and I think we accomplished that with this album.' Most recently Muffy co-wrote and stars in a television commercial for Time Warner, Comcast, UsCable, and Showtime to be aired in March 2005.