Words by Lindsey Anderson
Photo by Charlotte Pattmore
A fact that continues to stand the test of time is that growing up is extremely challenging. In an effort to build community and hold an open dialogue, young adults all over the globe have taken to art to process the complexities of growing up. On their newest release ‘I’m All Ears,’ Norwich-based experimental pop band Let’s Eat Grandma use straightforward lyrical content and electronic beats to explore what it’s like to be growing up at this moment in time.
Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth have been in each other’s lives since the age of four and began fiddling with instruments together at the age of 13. After a few years of making music together in solitude, the duo got together some songs and put out their debut album ‘I, Gemini.’ The world met the record with abounding praise; a sonically-chaotic record that had listeners supremely intrigued. Through ‘I, Gemini,’ Rosa & Jenny masterfully crafted a magical and sonically-fluid experience that continues to stick with listeners 2 years later.
‘I’m All Ears’ feels like that one life-changing summer where you realize there are so many layers to life that the world of academia didn’t prepare you for. It’s that summer where you become aware of not only the changes happening within you but also the changes happening in the world around you. Touching on topics such as mental health, relationships and the importance of individuality, Rosa & Jenny have engineered a lovely record that is bound to resonant with audiences all around the globe.
With a recently announced North America tour as well as some dates acting as support for Chvrches in Europe, the duo is booked & busy this album cycle so I’m thrilled that I got the chance to chat with the band about the album, touring and their self care go-tos.
For this tour, you’ve decided to have a drummer. What prompted you to add an acoustic drum kit to your live shows?
We kind of made the decision after we finished making the album. We had been using electronic drums but on this album, we realized that the live shows would be so much better with an acoustic drum kit. Especially after going to a lot of gigs over the summer and seeing bands like Warpaint using acoustic kits. We think it’ll bring something really special to the live shows.
Your debut ‘I Gemini’ really made a positive impression; what do you still love about that record today?
I actually haven’t listened to it in awhile! But I guess the freedom of it is something we still love about ‘I Gemini.’ We were less experienced when that album came out; knew less about what we were doing. We were literally just picking up instruments and trying out different sounds and that happened to work in our favor. It was definitely a very natural record because of that method.
Why did the title ‘I’m All Ears’ make the most sense for this album?
We feel the title speaks to a lot of the topics discussed on the album. It’s kind of about being open to the world around you as well as being honest with people and being yourself.
What has been the response to your music from folks in Norwich?
The response from our town has been really good! It has been a year and a half since our last gig in our hometown so we’ll find out how they feel about the new record when we perform here very soon. We’ve always had lots of support from our hometown!
The track “Ava” deals with “matters of mental health, struggle & moments of clarity.” What are your go-to methods to ease mental distress?
I love this question! For us, seeing friends, writing down our feelings, going home and sometimes going away from home, therapy, writing music & taking bathes.
You have a track called ‘Donnie Darko’ what was it about that movie that moved you to pen a song about it?
A lot of the themes in the movie revolve around coming of age. Donnie’s kind of discovering himself and learning about authority throughout the course of the movie. There’s just so much about the film that you can unpack in terms of ‘meaning’ and we think that’s why it holds so many ideas for songs and other pieces of art.
You have a North America tour coming up, what are you most looking forward to when it comes to touring? Is there anything you’re not looking forward to?
Definitely excited to see all the cities we’ll be visiting. So far we’ve only played Montreal, New York, Los Angeles and Austin, Texas for SXSW; we’ll be visiting a lot of cities for the 1st time. Very much looking forward to the food too; not gonna lie. As for something we’re not looking forward to, the exhaustion that comes with traveling and performing each day.
I know your fan-base spans across all ages but what do you hope young people get from hearing your records and going to your shows?
Hopefully people can really relate to it. I think young people will find a lot to relate to in ‘I’m All Ears’ in particular. The record really is about what it’s like to be a young person at the moment. We’re hoping people find their own meaning within the record.
Using anything that isn’t an already established musical genre, how would you describe your music?
This is probably more describing the record on a theme-level more than anything but I feel like the album is like loads of different places; it’s traveling. It’s also like trying to find where you fit in among a world where you’re always somewhere else.