My Idea’s CRY MFER will make you cry and then laugh through your tears

The FADER: Do you remember when you first met? What were your first impressions?

Lily Koenigsberg: Nate and I had known each other for a number of years and rarely spoke to each other. I knew he was talented although I didn’t know how talented until I met him in August 2020. A few days after meeting him, I wondered where this person had been all my life.

Nate Amos: Lily and I only knew each other marginally and had talks about making music together at shows. We met to discuss working on her solo album and ended up completing the first song in about four hours. We quickly realized that there was a lot of creative chemistry between us. Within 24 hours we started writing together.

The album represents a chaotic time for both of you and ultimately a defining moment in your life. Do you think you would be where you are now if you hadn’t started making this album together?

LK: I’d like to think that without Covid, the album and us, we would have met, gotten closer to sobriety or sobriety, but I can’t be sure. I think these things hastened my arrival at my rock bottom and really made me realize that unless things changed drastically, they were going to get really bad.

N / A: We’re both about eight months sober now. That’s a big thing when I listen to this album. We both had addictions that spiraled out of control and had a very noticeable impact on both of our lives. I think that sped up the process. I was already on my way in that direction, but it’s not like everything was going great and then I made this album. So I think Kind of is the answer to that. It’s hard to tell if it played a role in that transition or is just very accurate documentation of the entire time.

“Crutch” feels like the focal point of the album in many ways. How does it feel to hear this song again now that it came out on the other side?

LK: Yes, it’s pretty much literally a document of how I felt in September 2021 and how painful it was. I felt helpless even though I was the only one with the ability to change the situation. Actually I’m not ready to listen to the song yet, I need some more time.

I was curious how sobriety affects your creativity. This album was made while you both drank what you’ve now quit. Have you noticed any differences in songwriting lately?

LK: I’ve noticed that I feel like I have a lot less motivation, but what it really is is the fear that everything I write makes me feel too much. I’m afraid of what will come out of me. I made a decision to change that and just bite the bullet and write an album of the episodes that followed CRY MFER.

N / A: I had a reset phase. I always approached music making in this binge format where I would focus on one project and not do anything else until it was done. That’s how I divided my time. I thought this would go away and the first 3-4 months that I wasn’t drinking was really hard to write. Like pulling teeth. However, I’ve been writing new stuff for Water From Your Eyes lately and I’ve gotten back to that way of working. I thought it would get harder by December and then it snapped back into place. It feels more intentional now though, and I remember making the music.

The album touches on many different sounds and styles. Where have you felt the most out of your comfort zone, would you say?

N / A: There are a few songs that I autotune to that are way out of my comfort zone. Stylistically, however, I work with a completely different aesthetic in my solo work, so that there are no real outliers here. If anything, we cut all the really crazy stuff.

LK: I was definitely confused when Nate’s bluegrass roots bled into the songs. I was totally stunned by the timing and the feel of those moments, but I love the way they sound.

You described the sound CRY MFER as “Truth or Dare Pop.” Can you elaborate on that a little more?

LK: How far can I push this? Am I crazy if I leave this text in? Those are the kind of questions I asked myself while writing this album. I usually just said fuck it and did the crazy thing I wanted to do.

“Breathe You” shows the mainstream pop influence on the album. Does the idea of ​​going to LA and plugging into this big, machine-like environment appeal to you? Would you want to write a song for Justin Bieber?

LK: Yes! If anyone has this in please hit my line. Please. I would like to write a song for Bieber.

N / A: I can’t imagine ever being a part of this community. I don’t think I could keep my cool long enough. The idea of ​​this project was to get as close as possible to that experience within the confines of our own weird processes.

There’s a sense of humor that runs through the album, especially on songs like “Lily’s Phone” and “Baby I’m The Man”. This lightness feels rather rare in the current indie music scene, do you have any idea why the landscape seems a little self-serious right now?

N / A: It’s all about context and when you present everything as serious, there’s nothing easier to appreciate those moments. I love metal and Scott Walker; the supposedly scary and spooky end of music, but there’s nothing scarier to do than writing a song. Comedy and tragedy live side by side, but people tend to pick a spot on that spectrum and sink into it. I think people worry about being taken seriously when they try to incorporate sillier ideas. For me, though, it’s crucial for formulating the heavier ideas.

LK: You can take yourself seriously and make fun of yourself at the same time. Isn’t that the meaning of life? An artist who takes himself too seriously sends me to Cringe Village immediately. Life sucks so much we have to laugh about it. Funny people are the most healing people.

What message would you give to anyone who is feeling a little stuck and needs a big change in their life but is nervous about taking the plunge?

N / A: I would say no matter how stuck you feel, change is possible. When this album was made, I found the idea of ​​going two hours without alcohol impossible. So the idea of ​​going eight months would have been ridiculous. It’s certainly been a rocky transition, but sometimes you have to go way out of your comfort zone to make a change.

LK: It’s going to be really hard and it may feel like the wrong decision at times, but you’ll know deep down that you’re doing the right thing. Don’t let the difficulty of your life transformation get you down. The power is in you. I’m a mess that knows I’m doing the right thing.

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