My Idea – Lily Konigsberg and Nate Amos on Their Formation and Debut Album “CRY MFER” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, February 26th, 2024  

My Idea – Lily Konigsberg and Nate Amos on Their Formation and Debut Album “CRY MFER”

Regrets? I’ve Had a Few

Apr 21, 2022 Photography by OK McCausland Web Exclusive
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Lily Konigsberg has been kicking around as part of the NYC punk/no wave outfit Palberta for the better part of 10 years. She also recently released her first, and much more pop oriented, solo album (Lily We Need to Talk Now) late last year. Nate Amos is the musical mind behind the quickly rising synth pop duo Water From Your Eyes. He also records solo as This Is Lorelai, and in a prior life performed with his father’s bluegrass band. So how (and why) did these two find time to create yet another outlet for their musical musings with their new band, My Idea? We caught up with Konigsberg from her parent’s house in Upstate New York and Amos separately out on the road touring with Water From Your Eyes.

Koningsberg and Amos ran in some of the same circles in the New York music scene and she turned to Amos to help produce her solo album. “I really like Water From Your Eyes’ music. So we just met through the music scene in Brooklyn, but we’re both kind of shy. Nate knew my [Palberta] bandmates, Ani and Nina, way better, but one on one we just clicked,” Konigsberg shares. She also explains that Palberta are currently on hiatus, but may join up down the road.

Konigsberg and Amos are releasing CRY MFER (Hardly Art), their first album together as My Idea, tomorrow in follow-up to a quickly released EP from last year. “The project’s name came from a misunderstanding conveyed over a recording,” Amos explains. “Lily sent me a cell phone recording of a demo for a song called ‘That’s My Ideal’ and I misheard the lyric as ‘That’s My Idea.’ Once we figured out the miscommunication we agreed that the lyric was better that way and we pretty quickly landed on My Idea as a band name after that. So even though it’s ‘My Idea’ it was actually no one’s idea, just a happy accident.”

Alcohol, and based on a close read of the lyrics, perhaps some level of hormones, served to bring the two to together musically and beyond. Parts of CRY MFER are as explicit as Prince’s Dirty Mind, but directed towards the more artsy pop lover.

“I’ve never written such dirty music, but I guess we were just feeling crazy,” Konigsberg admits. “A lot of it’s autobiographical about our relationship and friendship and getting obsessed with each other and having issues. We have a lot more space now, but we were pretty much co-dependent through our alcoholism.”

She continues: “The lyrics are kind of shocking. I think it’s funny because I kind of forgot. And then people have been like, ‘This is a pretty intense album.’”

Konigsberg serves as the primary vocalist on most of the album, including the infectious pop single, “Crutch,” but Amos sings through an AutoTune filter on “I Can’t Dance Part 2”—“I don’t want to fight, I just want to fuck you.” The juxtaposition of sex and sweetness can be a bit jarring compared to the laid back country gem that follows in “Pretty You.”

“‘Pretty You’ is probably my favorite of the songs that I contributed the foundation of,” says Amos. “I grew up surrounded by and playing bluegrass so the melodic and rhythmic elements present in that genre are largely inescapable in my writing process.”

CRY MFER is the rare document of a couple in the “hot and heavy getting to know you, that is if I even like you” phase committed to tape. The album cover amusingly shows the two spitting water at each other, which is typically reserved for the beginning days of a budding third grade romance. “I spit a lot of water at him in general. So he was doing it back,” Konigsberg explains.

Both Konigsberg and Amos are proud of what they created, but both also say the way CRY MFER was put together will be a one-time thing. “The choice to become sober has had an enormously positive impact on my life,” Amos says. “I’m so proud of this album, but every time I listen to it I get a huge wave of relief that I’ve moved on from that mindset.” Both admit to having issues with addiction and concur that the album was written in a flurry of alcohol-influenced composing and recording sessions. Konigsberg adds, “We had a really emotional, intense relationship with added alcohol. That was a lot. People were worried about us.”

The duo definitely have plans to record further and tour together, but with both members committing to sobriety recently, future sessions promise to be a little more sedate and definitely less explicit. Konigsberg jokes, “I said, next album no cursing!”

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