Posts Tagged ‘Rosa Walton’

Let’s Eat Grandma

I’m All Ears, the stunning new album by 19-year-old experimental duo Let’s Eat Grandma, is full of loud moments; but one of its most impactful is actually its quietest. “Ava” is a slight three-minute ballad that takes the penultimate place on the tracklist. While elsewhere, Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton work with producers SOPHIE and The Horrors’ Faris Badwan to creating ground-shaking setpieces like “Hot Pink”, and while synths dazzle like disco lights on the euphoric dream “Falling Into Me”, “Ava” is a simple piano affair. It speaks softly, and plainly, on an experience that has rarely been articulated so well in song; the feeling of watching on the sidelines as a loved one battles mental health issues.

The Ava of the song’s title is depicted as a scarred, withdrawn, afraid individual, one who cries out, What do you want from me?” The voice that answers her, in a call-and-response narrated in Rosa Walton’s gliding, robust vocal, is a gentle one, but one brimming with frustration and pain. “Why’d you take it as final, when you’re starting to spiral? / Girl, why can’t you see?”

The lyrics give voice to an ache that is so hard to articulate because it is, by nature, a secondary pain. It’s the feeling of being trapped on the sidelines of a catastrophe. “You know I know you can do it”, Walton urges, with a note of desperation. The inherent tragedy of loving someone with mental health issues is the powerlessness of it; you can tell someone you think the world of them, that they are special, that they are loved, but you can’t force them to believe it.

In a press release on the song’s release last month, Hollingworth elaborated on the story the duo are telling. She said “Ava” is about “the realisation as you get older that some things are more complicated, and from the outside looking at a person you can’t always see how difficult some problems are to solve.”

“‘Ava’ is a song about the reality of being someone who is there – someone who not only checks in, but promises an unwavering support – but somehow still can’t be enough”

Perhaps one of the reasons this song cuts so deep in this particular moment is the way in which the frantic public conversation around mental health, and particularly depression, has exploded in recent weeks. Following the tragic suicides of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain in June, there was a wave of well-meaning, earnest discussion online about what can be done about an invisible epidemic. Per the New Yorker, suicide in the US has risen by 25% in the past two decades.

When news related to mental illness breaks, the trend is for many people to tweet and otherwise signal that those of us who are depressed should reach out for help, and the rest of us should “check in” on our loved ones. People reach for the right, reassuring words to say in a crisis – it’s only human. But it can also, sometimes, blur the issue. It’s comforting, but a sweeping oversimplification, to imagine that people suffer mental illness only because they don’t have people who “check in” on them; to assume they don’t have people who are actually desperate to help them. As one writer tweeted in June, “suicide is not simple, it can’t be solved by a lunch date.”

“Ava” is a song about the reality of being someone who is there – someone who not only checks in, but promises an unwavering support – but somehow still can’t be enough. It expresses a feeling of an overwhelming need to fix something that you can’t fix, to be let in when you’ve been shut out. This is a reality for a lot of people, but one that’s rarely been spoken to so cuttingly and directly in a pop song.

The lyrics of “Ava” show the kind of intense, loving bargaining that you go through when trying to help someone out of their own personal darkness. But Walton’s delivery also contains complexity. She’ll help Ava, she promises on the refrain, whether“this” happens “once, or twice, or… again…”. That ellipsis is felt. Her voice becomes much softer as she breathes through the word“again”, heavy with the weight of realisation that there is a mountain before her. Steeling herself, she takes an emotional run-up to her next repetition of the word: “againnnnn”, she intones over rising chords, her gentle voice made hard with determination.

I’m All Ears is out now;

Lets Eat Grandma

Let’s Eat Grandma release their second and stunning album, I’m All Ears, via Transgressive Records. I’m All Ears is an even greater revelation than Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth’s globally acclaimed debut, I, Gemini. The second act from the British teenage vocalists, multi-instrumentalists and songwriters, is the most startling, infectious, innovative and thrilling record you’ll hear this year. It is alive with furious pop, unapologetic grandeur, intimate ballads; with loops, Logic, outrageous 80s drum solos, as well as production from David Wrench (The xx / Frank Ocean / Caribou), SOPHIE (famed for her own material and work with Madonna, Charli XCX and Vince Staples) and Faris Badwan (The Horrors). It’s an album that cements Let’s Eat Grandma as one of the most creative and exciting bands in the world right now.

The finale of Let’s Eat Grandma’s intoxicating, expansive second album I’m All Ears is the intricate 11-minute drama “Donnie Darko”—named, of course, for the 2001 film that has become a byword for suburban teenage angst. Director Richard Kelly served that familiar emotion with a hefty side of disturbing magical realism; nothing is quite as it seems, but emotions run high.

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“We watched Donnie Darko while we were still writing our first album, years ago,” explains Jenny Hollingworth, one half of the U.K. duo, alongside Rosa Walton. “We weren’t writing about the film—there’s nothing about giant rabbits—but it was an inspiration, especially the part when [Donnie’s] run over. Some of the themes match some of ours: [being] a teenager, navigating the world, and things being ambiguous. Even in terms of the sounds on the album, it just made sense.”

Hollingworth and Walton have been best friends since kindergarten, and bandmates from the age of 13. They put out their first album when Walton was just 16 and Hollingworth 17—astonishing, given their debut’s musical and lyrical range.

Let’s Eat Grandma – It’s Not Just Me (Official Video) The song will be on our second album ‘I’m All Ears’ which is coming out 29th June 2018,

Let’s Eat Grandma – Hot Pink (Official Music Video) The song will be on our second album ‘I’m All Ears’ which is coming out 29 June 2018,

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The duo behind British electropop group Let’s Eat Grandma were just 17 when its debut, I, Gemini, came out two years ago to wide acclaim. Lifelong friends Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingsworth found themselves thrown into the spotlight, and the upcoming I’m All Ears reflects that transformative experience. Hooky early singles “Falling Into Me” and “It’s Not Just Me” feel wider in scope than the group’s earlier work, with layers of synthesizers and sounds reflecting their increased ambition. It also helps to have producers like Sophie (Madonna, Charli XCX), David Wrench (The xx, Frank Ocean), and Faris Badwan (The Horrors), which should make I’m All Ears a big step forward for the duo.

Let’s Eat Grandma – It’s Not Just Me (Official Video) The song will be on our second album ‘I’m All Ears’ which is coming out 29th June 2018,

The joy of discovering that a love crush feels the same way about you is so pure, so unimpeachable, so fragile that it threatens to swallow itself whole almost immediately. From the upcoming album I’m All Ears, Let’s Eat Grandma crystallizes the high of newfound infatuation into a three-minute pop gem.

“It’s Not Just Me” begins right when the realization finally kicks in. “And just when we discover that we need each other here,” sighs Rosa Walton, “our lives keep pulling us away.” SOPHIE’s production conjures a fun house of shattered mirrors, as per usual, but here with The Horrors’ Faris Badwan, carves chaotic synths into a sleek glass house that’s already beginning to fissure at the base. The feeling is tenuous and uncertain, but Walton and Jenny Hollingworth revel in it for as long as they can.

“It’s not just me, I know you’re feeling the same way,” the two recite in unison on the chorus. There’s equal parts disbelief and pleasure in their repetition of the line. Let’s Eat Grandma gallivant through seaside vistas and abandoned buildings in the video directed by Balan Evans, driving through the uncharted territory of young romance together. Crushes come and go, but, as with everything attached to the Let’s Eat Grandma project, Rosa and Jenny will stick together.

I’m All Ears releases June 29th on Transgressive Records

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#U.K. pop duo Let’s Eat Grandma released their debut album I, Gemini in 2016, when members Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton were just 17 years old. Today, they return with “Hot Pink” their first new song since. On their latest, the pair collaborated with an artist whose pop sensibility is as singular as theirs: producer, solo artist, and PC Music affiliate Sophie. “Hot Pink” retains Hollingworth and Walton’s yearning harmonies and quirky lyrics, while Sophie makes her presence known with airy synthesizers and a thundering, spluttering chorus.

According to Let’s Eat Grandma, “‘Hot Pink’ is about the misconceptions of femininity and masculinity and the power of embracing both of them. It’s about self-expression and appreciation for an underrated colour.”

<em>I, Gemini</em> by Let’s Eat Grandma

A short time ago, Let’s Eat Grandma dressed up in baby costumes and crawled round London, and the resulting video for Sax In The City is one we’ve been itching to have out in the world. There’s a school of thought that it’s no longer possible to create anything original with pop music. With their debut I, Gemini, Let’s Eat Grandma make nonsense of such an idea. Over its ten songs teenagers Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton create a world entirely of their own making. What’s also remarkable is that whilst the music is constantly expansive – they sound like they’re backed by an orchestra at times – the pair played all of the instruments, including brass, woodwind, keys, drums and guitars, themselves.

“Just us at our favourite place, wearing our favourite colour, doing what we do best – this is the most real video of Let’s Eat Grandma yet. PS Look out for the rat.” – Rosa and Jenny

The song appears on their debut album I, Gemini, available through all good music stores.

Let’s Eat Grandma are also on tour over the next few months.

Guardian Guide exclusive - Let’s Eat Grandma

Let’s Eat Grandma perform Deep Six Textbook on Later… with Jools Holland, BBC Two (18 October 2016). Experimental pop outfit Let’s Eat Grandma, as one of the most chattered-about new acts of 2016, the pair have been hard at work on their brilliant and strange debut album I, Gemini (and if you think it’s precocious to be putting out a record at 17, they actually recorded most of it two years ago). Joined by helium-high vocals, clapping-game percussion and lyrics about baking cakes, much of their collection of weird pop has a creepy, childlike glaze. It’s a mood compounded by their eerie live shows, in which they glower, do deadpan dance routines and utilise their Rapunzel-length hair by draping it over their faces.