You may have recently read about two girls from Norfolk who look uncannily similar but are, in fact, unrelated.  Rosa and Jenny are both 17, met when they were 4 years’ old and have been inseparable ever since.  Together, they make music under the moniker Let’s Eat Grandma.  Whether or not you enjoy their debut album really comes down to whether you like their mixture of darkness and light.  Oh, and their voices.

Let’s talk about those voices – they lie somewhere in between Björk, Kate Bush and Clare Grogan (Altered Images).  They’re girly, girly voices which actually sound much younger than their 17 years, but they strangely suit the music.  Like sweetness and sour, they just work together.  More mature voices could derail the songs from their youthful, energetic pitch.  However, if you have a couple of young daughters of your own, you may perhaps find this music sounds a little too close to home.i,_gemini_artwork_lo-res__large

‘Deep Six Textbook’ is the first tune out of the bag – and it’s pretty amazing, all told.  I first heard it a couple of months ago and I’ve been unable to shift it from my head ever since.  It’s a song which I couldn’t really describe as a ‘builder’ as it doesn’t really go anywhere, and yet for five minutes every moment feels like a moment when the world around you ceases to exist.  It’s a perfect blend of harmonies aligned with a stunning melody.  It’s early days for 2016, but it’s currently my single of the year.

Elsewhere, tracks such as ‘Eat Shiitake Mushrooms’ contain lashings of energy – but the bizarre rap section around halfway through just doesn’t work.  It’s also nearly three minutes before the vocals kick in, which is too long.  ‘Sax In The City’, by comparison, is far more interesting, with its cobbled instrumentation, rough edges and sheer fun.  It could be the sound of a dozen London buskers, fronted by two teenage girls.

Musically, the instrumentation tends to be quite minimal, with the vocals doing much of the work.  Such is the case during ‘Chimpanzees in Canopies’, where the line “Does it echo underwater?” is repeated – and the way that “underwater” is pronounced doesn’t automatically lead you to believe that these girls originate from Norwich.  Reykjavik maybe, but certainly not Norwich.  There’s a catchy chorus, which I really like.

‘Rapunzel’ is a stand-out track.  Close your eyes during the opening bars and you’re transported to somewhere between The Wizard Of Oz and one of those musical jewellery boxes which you wind up with a key.  The somewhat random lyrics, “My cat is dead, my Father hit me, I ran away, I’m really hungry”, describe a fairytale world which sounds… well, kind of random – but completely correct in the context of this album.

There’s been a large amount of interest in Let’s Eat Grandma, and I’m pleased to say that on most accounts, this album delivers.  It’s not going to knock you out cold with its hooks, but it’s one of the more interesting listens I’ve heard during 2016.  It’s certainly like nothing else I’ve listened to recently and there’s more than enough here to keep me engaged.  The fact that I keep returning to it for repeated listens should probably tell you all you need to know.  If you do nothing else today, be sure to look up ‘Deep Six Textbook’, the album is worth the entrance price for that track alone.

Paul Lockett

 

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