Let’s Eat Grandma is captivating and innovative on new album, ‘I’m All Ears’
So far, this year has been one of the most intriguing years for music in recent history. We’ve heard so many great albums that mark the sound of this decade, we’ve seen a gauntlet of mostly top-notch albums released under the helm of Kanye West, SOPHIE’s triumphant debut album that sounds like music from another world and even electronic-psychedelia pioneers MGMT return with their first amazing album since 2010, amongst many other remarkable releases. This year is truly gearing up to be an amazing year for music. However, most of the records of this year featured mostly sounds present throughout this decade; namely trap rap, bouncy tropical EDM, and watered-down alt-rock.
However, there is still plenty of time for carving out a new sound straight into the 2020’s. Some of the previously mentioned records such as Sophie’s debut, Kanye’s Kids See Ghosts project or Charli XCX’s future pop efforts and even last year’s incredible sophomore album by Lorde – “Melodrama”. The last album on that list is the one that could be compared most to the latest album of electropop duo Let’s Eat Grandma – “I’m All Ears”. The group formed by childhood friends Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth caught the ears of the industry with 2016’s debut “I, Gemini”, and intrigued many listeners and brought hints of a fresh pop sound that was yet to find its wings. Their latest effort sees them doing exactly that.
This album is amazingly captivating and unlike anything, you will most likely hear this year. The single “Hot Pink” could probably serve as a great introductory song to this album, even though it follows the curious opener instrumental “Whitewater”. The former is a stellar pop tune features strong vocals, interesting songwriting, and production by none other than future-pop producer extraordinaire – SOPHIE. The beat, while carrying her synthetic and rubbery signature, gives more spotlight to the duo’s strengths, delivered on the amazingly catchy chorus. The song “It’s Not Just Me” is also produced by SOPHIE, but still proves that Let’s Eat Grandma is the main act on this release and their melodies and vocals are attention-grabbing at nearly every point on the album. The song “Falling Into Me” is also a shiny pop tune with great production that just adds to the list of standouts. The 9-minute “Cool & Collected” has a slight 90’s vibe, but the emotion exuded by the girls more than makes up for this and brings an interesting song with a certain level of depth. Also, the explosion of sounds, in the end, is quite a welcome shift in such a long track.
Some other tracks like “Snakes & Ladders” seem to be a little less remarkable, but still very good listens. The main critique of this song stems from the likeness it has to other artists’ sounds, namely Lorde, Fiona Apple and, by vocal delivery, even Bjˆrk. The slightly grunge-sounding chord progression delivered via an overdriven guitar and the trip-hop production reinforces the previous point. “I Will Be Waiting” is also very similar to most cuts on Lorde’s “Melodrama”, which is not too bad considering that this song has quality. However, the girls start the album off with a very original and interesting vibe, to the point where these songs seem to be slight blemishes on that “progressive” pop sound. “Ava” is a more typical 2010’s sounding ballad with squeaky emotional vocal-inflections with a strong British accent, a piano-led instrumental and reverb.
The closer “Donnie Darko” lasts for 11 minutes and is an interesting cut, namely because it starts out with a similar vibe to the few previous tracks but introduces a 4-on-the-floor kick and a lot of smooth and spacey synths that make it a blissful note to end the album with. It probably best sums up this record’s overall tone at the end of the journey. It’s also worth mentioning the two strange interludes “Missed Call (1)” and “The Cat’s Pyjamas”, that seem to connect the songs’ narratives.
Overall, this album is still a very fresh listen that shows a band that is slowly, but surely, carving out their own sound which will hopefully change the course of modern music and usher into a new era of pop that is exciting, innovative and unique.
Key tracks: “Hot Pink”, “It’s Not Just Me”, “Falling Into Me”, “Donnie Darko”, “Cool & Collected”