Lily Konigsberg, Andrea Schiavelli - Good Time Now [Cassette]
With Good Time Now, Ramp Local presents a brilliant collection of tracks from Lily Konigsberg (of Palberta) and Andréa Schiavelli (Eyes Of Love) that celebrates the immediacy and wonder of American pop classics. As the title suggests, it’s a warm, inviting record, sounding familiar on first listen and subsequently revealing more and more of its intricacies with each successive play. Written and recorded in pen-pal fashion while Andréa and Lily were based in NYC and California respectively, their musical contributions recall the grandiose hooks of pop’s previous eras and transforms them, through the use of home-production, into something timelessly intimate and personal.
The majority of Andréa’s contributions were recorded in his room in late 2016. His side features multi-instrumental contributions from Paco Cathcart (The Cradle, Big Neck Police, Shimmer) and Sammy Weissberg (Sweet Baby Jesus, The Gradients) on “Long Distance Swimming” and “There’s A Party”. Musically, Andréa’s side reads seductive and lyrical, as his tempered baritone delivers imagery of youthful anxiety, lonely parties, driving a Mercedes Benz. Chromatic, pensive ballads like “Planets in Order” and“Long Distance Swimming” are ornamented with haunting synth-strings and sparkling pianos. In contrast, “Players Of The Field” and “New Old Age Home” are uptempo, full-band cuts that feel like they could be plucked from a 1978 top 40 list. Overall, Andréa’s production is tight and crisp, exploiting the nuanced shimmering tones of acoustic and electric guitars. The record’s closing track, “Face With No Lines” is a subdued, moving piano-ballad that signals the release of the record’s dramatic tension like something from the climax of a Hollywood blockbuster.
Lily’s tracks were recorded in collaborator Matt Norman’s (Horn Horse) childhood home in California. Norman contributes drumming and horn arrangements, giving Lily’s side a distinguished baroque-pop feel. Like her Lily on Horn Horse tape, Lily’s side varies in style. Acoustic-guitar driven jams like “Roses” and “Talk To Me w. Birds” bounce bright, lively melodies alongside off-kilter rhythmic structures punctuated by Matt Norman’s stately horns. “I Don’t Like The Name” and “North Porsche” evoke a more serious mood, sparkling with cool synth tones and distant vocals. “Good Time”, the record’s namesake, is no straightforward party track. Rather, it’s a breezy, composed meditation on the the mantra “I want to have a good time”, brushing along with syncopated phrases, recalling more of a rainy-day 60’s orchestral-pop ballad than dance track. Overall, Good Time Now will find it’s fans in those who appreciate the art and history of songwriting, the mastery of which Lily Konigsberg and Andréa Schiavelli use to shape established forms and styles in their liking. With its detailed execution at the hands of two talented writers, Good Time Now seems to stand representative of longstanding appeal of pop music as a constantly-evolving style and means of self-expression.