Best of 2020: All the Things That Excited Palberta This Year

The Brooklyn trio talks DIY firepits, their friends’ music, and NYC’s fight against racist pigs.

I’m excited to be involving myself in New York City’s fight against racist, sexist, fascist pigs and the government. I’ve met so many like-minded, beautiful, and irreplaceable people. In times of such doubt, I’ve found this huge and ever-expanding community of people who want better. It gives me immense hope. These people are hyper intelligent and grounded, and I’m so proud of them all. 

— Lily Konigsberg

A few of [my] favorite albums of 2020 are: one by our friends dog, from New York City, called false faces ring — it’s a really, really amazing album. It sounds so heavy, and the sound quality is just relentless.

Another is an album by The Cradle, aka Brooklyn’s Paco Cathcart. He came out with an album called Laughing In My Sleep. It’s a beautiful album of songs that actually Lily and [Ani] both sing and play on quite a bit. 

— Nina Ryser

My favorite thing of 2020 is probably homemade firepits. I built a firepit in the backyard of where I live — it was a come-up for the backyard, especially for COVID since we’re relegated to hanging out outside. So I’ve been having a lot of fires. 

I got a steel drum, [the kind that] restaurants put all their oil, liquid waste in. This guy was selling them on Craigslist for, like, $20, but I hear you can just ask restaurants if they have any extras, because they often to and they’ll just give them to you. But I bought one from this guy, and I have an angle grinder so I just cut it in half lengthwise so it’s kind of like a trough. Then I bolted the two halves together, so it’s a really long fire trough. Then my friend helped me weld a little thing to hold a pot over the fire from one side of it. So I’ve had a lot of fire dinners where we put a pot of something hanging over the fire. 

Let it be known that I’m willing to build a fire trough for anyone who needs one, so that they too can be around their companions in a safe, outside way.

Another favorite thing was the Swamp Dogg album Love, Loss, and Autotune, which was from 2018, actually, but I discovered it this year. So it’s my favorite of 2020.

— Ani Ivry-Block

Palberta’s Palberta5000 will be out January 2021, and is available for pre-order now. 

As told to Annie Fell.

(Photo Credit: Chloe Carrasco)

Ani Ivory-Block, Lily Konigsberg, and Nina Ryser met while attending Bard College and formed Palberta in 2013. My Pal Berta (2013) and Shitheads in the Ditch (2014) were both released by Feeding Tube Records. Bye Bye Berta (2016) was their first album for Wharf Cat Records and it was followed by 2018’s Roach Goin’ Down, both recorded by Paco Cathcart (The Cradle). These albums were surrounded by a slew of EPs and split releases as well as frequent touring of the United States and Canada. Palberta opened for Bikini Kill at Brooklyn Steel in 2019 and were set to tour the UK and Europe for the first time in April of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Their fifth album, Palberta5000, was preceded by the stand-alone single “Something in the Way” and will be released on January 22, 2021. When they can safely do so, they look forward to touring the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe.