In 2020, Lily Konigsberg of Palberta (and several other collaborative projects) reached out to Nate Amos of Water from Your Eyes to produce her full-length solo debut. He did, and that album, Lily We Need to Talk Now, saw release in late 2021. In the meantime, Konigsberg and Amos became fast friends who challenged each other to experiment more with their songwriting and sound -- to the point where things got competitive -- resulting in dozens of freewheeling indie pop songs. During this time, they also questioned whether they were friends or something more, and the path to their eventual arrival at friends fueled some of the relationship songs on their 13-track debut album, Cry Mfer, released under the duo moniker My Idea. Konigsberg takes the lead on most of the songs, beginning with the midtempo "Cry Mfer," one of the album's more reflective entries. It opens with the words "I need space." Next up, the bouncier "Crutch" includes sentiments like "I'm sorry that you're my crutch/And for the pain that it causes all of us" alongside its gossamer double-tracked vocals and breezy jangle. The record soon wanders into more irreverent, unconventional directions with tracks including the contrived, synth-funky "Lily's Phone," "Not Afraid Anymore," which is loaded with would-be studio outtakes, and "Breath You," a slinky bedroom R&B tune featuring a vocodered Amos. Belching is also not off the table ("Lily's Phone"). Offsetting these are the strummy, Elliott Smith-evoking "Pretty You" and "Baby, I'm the Man," the latter of which brings subtly playful keyboards and duo harmonies into the mix. The overall effect is mercurial and uneven, but also fun and hooky as well as potentially cathartic -- especially for anyone who is over it.
Cry Mfer Review
by Marcy Donelson