Lets Eat Grandma_Video still1Let’s Eat Grandma is two Norwich teenagers, Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton. Their first album is out in June, called “I, Gemini”.  Here’s a preview track from it, called “Eat Shiitake Mushrooms”.

There’s a lengthy glockenspiel and wheezy organ intro before it crackles into thudding dance-floor life at the 1 minute 30 second mark. The vocals kick in halfway through the song’s 6 minute length, so stick with it because it’s a delightful and enigmatic trip beginning to end.

On the strength of this song, and a 7” single – “Deep Six Textbook/ “Sink” – released last month on London indpendent label Transgressive Records , the album promises to be a freakishly wonderful offering of their genre-warping craft.

While their music sometimes shows whimsical playfulness it also seems to carry a darker undercurrent of existentialist unease. That’s particularly true of single “Deep Six Textbook”, a kind of ultra slow-motion darkly Gothic meditation on the frustrations of free-spirited individuals coping with a structured, standardised (textbook) education.  That song was such a striking soundworld I ordered a copy immediately.

“Eat Shiitake Mushrooms” is completely different. It seems to be three songs in one, together creating something simultaneously absurd, playful, unsettling and exotic.

It’s psychedelic pop in the way The Raincoats’ “Only Loved At Night” was psychedelic pop, subversive pop in the way that The Sugarcubes “Birthday” was subversive pop, and absurdist art-pop in the way The Frank Chickens “We Are Ninja” was absurdist art-pop.

What each of the three songs released so far demonstrate is a sense of DIY musical and lyrical adventuring throughout popular music culture, unburdened by conforming with rules of any particular music genre.

Their command of multiple styles demonstrates skilful borrowing, filtering and re-constructing in unorthodox ways of a wide range of music influences from rap, to chart pop, electronica, folk, and more experimental forms. In interviews they seem motivated purely by the healthy enjoyment of creating music, crafting multi-layered lyrics, singing, rapping, having fun, being daft, being deadly serious, leaping from one idea to another, playing with their audience, challenging and dismantling preconceptions.

Let’s Eat Grandma are a reminder of a whole history of music out on the distant margins of the manicured music industry, the subversive music-makers and pop stars.  Misfits, oddities, risk-takers, boundary-pushing experimentalists.  The results will sometimes get written off as novelty music, because music is expected to take itself seriously, be authentic, whatever that is.

The strength of Let’s Eat Grandma is that they are being themselves. And much as we may want to imagine where their potential may take them in future, let’s enjoy their music now for what it is.

Here’s the dream-like video for “Deep Six Textbook” –

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