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Lily Konigsberg
Lily We Need to Talk Now Cat Caie , October 26th, 2021 08:09

Brooklyn's Lily Konigsberg brings a mix of the familiar and the unexpeted to her latest suite of songs, finds Cat Caie

Lily We Need to Talk Now sits in a liminal space of enchantment and post-grunge aesthetics, further opening the door to a new wave of sad girl music. Masterfully messy in an authentically lo-fi style, this LP feels like an experimental portfolio illustrating her different stylistic abilities. As soon as you’ve put your finger on who Lily Konigsberg reminds you of musically, Lily We Need to Talk Now slips into something new and you start all over again. Yet, when greedily replaying the LP on repeat, every time ‘Sweat Forever’ came on, I found myself being re-captivated and intrigued anew. It was this song in particular that kept me wanting more.

Having been initially drawn in by ‘Sweat Forever’, my attention switched to ‘Alone’. A sexy bassline introduces us to a groovy sequence of lyrics that would not feel out of place in an exclusive nightclub. The intermittent interludes of unusual instrumentation make for a unique story-telling experience, with jarringly spooky wind instruments, synthetic organ sounds and what sounds like a cowbell. All the while, however, Konigsberg manages to make this song feel familiar in an old-timey way. Curiously, the antithesis between this song and the mystical ‘Don’t Be Lazy With Me’ following it, makes for an intense clashing of the senses and teasingly draws the listener in.

In terms of song titles, ‘Hark’ is striking with its obvious scream for gratification. Listen to me, Konigsberg pleads and, as her audience, we oblige. The instant link to the Christmas song ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ signposts the dichotomous nature of Konigsberg’s wish to unite musical elements of past and present, mixing more modern autotune and synths with traditional wind instruments. With references to angels in the song too, there is plenty of meaning to be dissected from it. The mix-and-match of melodic singing and persistent percussion depicts the recurring theme of the album: the demands of songwriting and commitment to music that Konigsberg needs to satisfy in order to be happy and heard. Ideas and sounds whirl together messily as though she is sonically manifesting a brainstorm, an artistic exposition of splattering paint on a canvas. Pure and unadulterated, this song gives an extra element of transparency, breaking the unspoken fourth wall that usually obscures a musician’s flaws.

Lily We Need to Talk Now is an unexpected piece of artwork that manages to reflect the liberating now of boundaryless music. With influences from decades of genres and artists – from 70s to 90s to 00s and from The Sugarcubes to Pixies to beabadoobee – this album pieces together the excitement of discovering fresh music, making for a rollercoaster of a listening session.