Lily Konigsberg from the Brooklyn-based project Lily and Horn Horse will be featured at Friday’s Hassle Fest show at the Lilypad to serve up some sparkly, melancholy indie pop tunes.
In the meantime, you can still listen to her latest work 4 picture tear.
Konigsberg’s June 2018-released EP 4 picture tear offers three two-minute songs that are all sweetly sad in their own ways. In her introduction to the EP’s concept on her bandcamp page, Konigsberg writes, “I would look at this photobooth picture I took with matt and cry because I thought I was looking at the person I used to be in that picture and that that person was gone.” That longing for a past self too far away to reach/something missed extends across each track.
The EP’s opening song “to hold it” is told in a delicate, pleeding voice that bears more strength than is sonically exposed. She sings, “Should I pay for realizing I’m too strong to contain it?” Konigsberg’s desperation for a gentler hand just to allow her to hold whatever she needs; it cultivates this tangible frustration. But the sound never lets it boil over. The instrumentation embodies what it is that the lyricist wants but is not, which is both poignant and masterful.
Expressing a similar message in the EP’s final track “7 smile,” Konigsberg repeats, “The point is not exactly what I am. / The point is what I’m not.”—a sadness resulting from what cannot be held. “7 smile” plays more like a fuzzy guitar ballad. There is a present situation where the vocalist is surrounded by the sounds of crying women, driving her to want to return home. But then there is this “Wait til” refrain, speaking on what is to come, what has yet to happen. “7 smile” contains a distance between time and self that is off-putting and, unlike a conventional ballad, non-chronological.
Sandwiched in between “to hold it” and “7 smile” on the EP is “rock and sin.” A layered acapela vocal compares an “I” and “you” with a complicated relationship. Konigsberg sings, “I am a rock and you are a sin. / I’m on the outside, you’re on the in. […] You are around me. I’m not myself.” At first, it’s natural to assume that the “I” and “you” are two separate beings. But given Konigsberg’s intro to the album and a closer listen, it is also probable that the “I” and the “you” are possessed by the same person battling with their internal differences. The single-person acapela without any instrumental backing style suggests a certain loneliness as well.
Lily Konigsberg projects her feelings into music composition and lyrics in a way that is tender, artful, and pleasant—a rare talent. 4 picture tear presents a conceptual photograph both intimate and pensive, one that I am grateful to have the opportunity to sonically visualize and empathize with. You’ll have the chance to check out some more new work of Lily Konigsberg’s at the Lilypad on November 9th for Hassle Fest.