Lee Barber || June 2016
At 13, I was playing football until it went dark, sampling my first alcoholic beverages, and not even thinking about whether I wanted to waste a year of my life studying RE or food & textiles. But Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth, taking on their teenage years meant taking on the UK music industry. And winning.
I, Gemini, their debut album, released amongst a tide of hype following the erupuption of music video and debut single Deep Six Textbook. The song itself introduces the album, with a deep and harrowing drum beat undermined only by dreamy synths to give that you that haunting feeling of being trapped in the dark realms of a twisted and broken fairytale. There is a strong and powerful undercurrent of this notion throughout I, Gemini, and to a point, this is exactly what the duo have created, the fairytale for the modern era. At just 16 and 17 respectively, Rosa & Jenny have crafted a piece of art, a statement of ground breaking musical imagination and self-confidence.
Track two comes in the form of possibly the most commercially viable song, and yet still it remains outrageously weird and wonderful, fresh to the point is Eat Shiitake Mushrooms, ruthlessly intelligent lyrics even at one stage in the form of a glorious rap over a magnificent beat. Sax In The City bring us into deeper realms of the unknown; breaching now even the territory of the estranged genius duo that is CocoRosie, only with a youthful Britishness few manage to sprinkle into an album. But fear not, Sax In The City is still very much the all honking, all enchanting sound that we can hopefully come to expect.
After almost three minutes of introduction featuring an intense and atmospheric build-up created only by school style recorders, Let's Eat Grandma erupt into well structured chaos amidst a clinical storyline on Chocolate Sludge Cake. All of this whilst somehow remaining just about on side with commerciality, while Chimpanzees In Canopies gives a sense of dark hope layered with innocent folkey-come-fairytale vocals amidst chants and cute sugar rush instrumentation. The constant, simplistic orchestral backdrop makes for a strong foundation, but it is on Rapunzel that we are captured and thrown into the depths of a fairytale nightmare, with haunting imagery in every lyric.
A wonderful piano piece introduction leads us nicely into a melody that Tim Burton would have killed for to use on Edward Scissorhands, and when the abrupt, dominant vocals finally drop, you are slapped in the face with the powerful opening lines
"My cat is dead
My father hit me
I ran away
I'm really hungry."
These lyrics are followed up by a modern day take on Rapunzel that few could even dream of, and of which the Brothers Grimm would surely be proud.
The highly talented Norwich-based duo keep things on the creepy and awkward side with Sleep Song, over six minutes of vocal experimentation reaching a screaming climax akin to Alice falling down that fateful rabbithole. Let's Eat Grandma capture your imagination further with the dreaminess of Welcome To The Treehouse Part One, whilst Part Two throws together so many genres and eras you're left almost feeling left behind in the dawning of the new age of music. For this is what Let's Eat Grandma are; the future of UK music.
And with that they depart, leaving you in a stupour of enchantment and wonderlust, but not until they've thrown in their tongue-in-cheek mockery with the childish ukulele version of Deep Six Textbook 'Uke 6 Textbook', which is basically the opening track crammed into two minutes of ukulele based fun and two fingers stuck up in jest at anyone who has the audacity to suggest Rosa and Jenny are too young to create such music.
Let's Eat Grandma have proven a lot of things with this album. Least not that being creative, immaginative and different is always the key.