April 19, 2016

Like a Tim Burton creation brought to life, Let’s Eat Grandma are an ethereal pop duo made up of near-identical BFFs, Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton. Hailing from Norwich, the duo have been dabbling in creative pursuits for as long as they can remember. ‘Deep Six Textbook’ released via Transgressive Records is a hazy slow-burner, crackling with static and layered with sweet harmonies. Comparisons have (unsurprisingly) been drawn to Lorde, but the droning guitar progressions, introspective lyrics and psychedelic mood sounds like a 2016 take on The Cure’s Disintegration. We can’t get enough of their gothic pop sound.

We caught up with the pair on growing up in Norfolk, seeking inspiration from fairytales and their approach to songwriting.

UO: When did you know you wanted to be musicians?

Although there is pressure on young people to decide what career they want to pursue at such a young age, making music together has always been one of our many projects, so we’ve never viewed it so much as as a career prospect, but more like one of our many creative outlets. Although we mainly make music, we could also imagine ourselves working in a number of different creative fields, so we often incorporate lots of different art forms into LEG by creating our own artwork for our releases, choreographing our live performances and having a lot of input in our music videos.

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UO: Do you come from musical families?

None of our parents play music, but are all passionate about it in different ways. This has meant that both of us were brought up listening to a wide variety of styles, which has had an input into the way we write music, making us less genre­ restricted.

UO: Who or what inspires you?

Musically, we are inspired by pop and breaking the boundaries we hear within it as a genre. We’re also inspired by things outside of music, such as films, art, the people around us and the experiences we have had. For our track “Rapunzel”, we drew inspiration from the dark undercurrents of the original fairytale to write about a girl who was kept in solitary confinement, as well as from the horrific real life story of Genie, a girl who was kept locked in a room for 13 years of her life.

As teenagers, we take influence both from how we viewed the world as children and how we see things now. The way that we often create and describe places in our music, for example, draws a parallel to how children are so separated from adults in the sense that they experience everything with a vivid imagination.

It’s often hard for us to pinpoint exactly what has had a big influence on our music as a whole because we take such tiny bits of inspiration from so many different things. For instance the scene where Kenai transforms into a bear in the film Brother Bear, lyrically inspired Welcome to the Treehouse Part I .

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UO: We love the video for Deep Six Textbook, it’s so dreamy. Can you tell us more about where it was filmed and the direction you wanted to take it?

In terms of the direction of the video, our intention was to intensify the feelings of nostalgia and melancholy within the song. For this reason we decided to film the video on Cromer beach, on the edge of the North Norfolk coast; a place where we spent a lot of time in the summer as children. The fact that the video was filmed in such a natural setting and appears very raw in terms of how it’s edited, links to the song’s lyrics which discuss how nature makes people feel free.

It was important to us that the video complemented the lyrics so that people watching it would have a better understanding of the song, rather than to simply make us look good. We wanted to make the video less about who we are as people, and more about depicting a feeling.

UO: How would you describe your sound in three words?

Experimental sludge pop.

UO: You’ve been friends since the age of four, how does your close friendship translate into your music?

Because we’ve been friends for so long, we’ve developed the ability to predict what the other person is going to do next, which makes songwriting a much more fluid and natural process. A lot of LEG is based on our friendship and the connection between us. It’s not easy to find someone who complements you creatively, is as dedicated to the band and has the same vision as you.

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UO: You grew up in Norwich. What’s your favourite thing about your hometown? Do you imagine living anywhere else in the near future?

Norwich is the only city within Norfolk, and it’s nice to be in an urban environment but also to be surrounded by a lot of countryside and to be very close to the coast. Being distanced from other cities has meant that Norwich has had to create its own unique arts scene, which gave us many opportunities when we were first starting out.

Community Music East, a local organisation who supported local young people making music, really helped us to progress as a band in the beginning, by encouraging us to start writing our own material and organising gigs for us and other young local bands to play at.

UO: Your music has a lot of layers – can you talk us through your creative process?

When writing, we often base our songs around one simple idea and use layering to see how many different directions we can take that idea in. In a number of our tracks, we layer chords over each other, often having one drone chord playing continuously underneath. Interesting harmonics can also be created by layering two different chord sequences over one another.

We like building layers up gradually to a climax, and then having a sudden drop out to silence in songs, before bringing it all back in again. This can be effective when performing live. We like to mess with the audience, making them think we’ve finished when we haven’t.

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UO: Can you tell us about your approach to songwriting? Is it a joint endeavour?

Songwriting is a completely joint process and we each have different songwriting strengths which complement each other. ​O​ne of us might come up with an initial riff or melody, and the other adds something in over the top. We haven’t really got a system; each song is written in a different way.

UO: What kind music did you listen to growing up? Have those artists inspired your sound now?

Our parents played a lot of their music around the house as we were growing up, which probably influenced us subconsciously. We listened a range of bands including David Bowie, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Supertramp, Tears For Fears and Pink Floyd.​ There was always such a wide variety of instruments used in all the different bands we listened to, which made us want to experiment with different instruments in our own music. Supertramp may have had something to do with our use of the saxophone!

UO: What does the future hold for Let’s Eat Grandma?

 We’d like to expand the world we have created by incorporating more artistic mediums into our work. We want to develop our live shows visually by creating more artwork and video content. Mainly, we just want to continue learning and developing as a band.

The debut album, ‘I Gemini’ will be released 17th June via Transgressive.

Check out their new single, ‘Eat Shiitake Mushrooms’ below: