Review: Let’s Eat Grandma – Two Ribbons
National Music Reviews
Let’s Eat Grandma
Let’s Eat Grandma = Japanese Breakfast + Charli XCX
The latest release from Let’s Eat Grandma, Two Ribbons, checks all the boxes. It’s entertaining, impassioned and original. While listening, I was reminded of the children and teen dramas of the early 2000s, such as H2O: Just Add Water, Lizzie McGuire or even Tinker Bell. The upbeat, poppy tracks bring you a sense of nostalgia through their tribute to friendship and female relationships. The songs alternate between the vocalists, Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth. This was the first time since they started making music that their emotions were diverging, so they each made their own space. A first listen to Two Ribbons may leave you thinking it’s just fun summer pop, but a captivating narrative lies under all the synth and glitter.
Walton opens the album with “Happy New Year,” a letter expressing adoration and love for the other and is the album’s most poppy track. Its firework sounds and heavy keyboard usage give the song a vivid visual: New Years and summer nights with your best friend. Walton’s pact is to always be there, no matter how much they may drift apart: “And nothing that was broken / Can touch how much I care for you / Because you know you’ll always be my best friend / And look at what I made with you.”
The high, prolonged vocals and the rejuvenating beat of “Levitation” reminded me a lot of Grimes‘ early music. This track relates how they may be picking up the pieces right now, but there are still moments of glee: “The sun will come in pieces.” “Levitation” and its follow-up, “Watching You Go,” portray a picture of running around in the sun. The lyricism and vocals are so strong that you can feel the warmth emanating from them.
“Watching You Go” is the album’s standout track: The nostalgic feeling is especially prevalent here. Pristine vocals accompany the track, reminding you of innocence. Even the lyrics reflect adolescence: “As if I’m still a little child / She makes it hard for you to have to say goodbye / And I said to you, I’m not staying in.” There is a theme of loss—at the end of the track, chimes and a slow fade-out leave you longing for more.
“Hall of Mirrors” has a colorful, dreamlike quality. It explores sexuality and the “spell” that someone can cast on you: “There wasn’t a girl who made me shy until I talked to you.” The lyrics of this song resemble the confused feelings that accompany falling in love. The upbeat, hazy chorus is the narrator’s moment in a trance, but when it comes to the bridge, the vocals are low, choppy and slow, representing the moments of coming back to the reality of someone’s heart being “locked.” “It flows back and forth between a joyous trance and a moment of truth. In “Sunday” and the interludes “Half Light” and “In The Cemetery,” there are moments that remind the listener of a fairytale world filled with mushrooms for sleeping on and mythical creatures. “In The Cemetery” has sounds of birds chirping, strung-out electronic noises and chimes that sound like the inside of a video game.
The album closes with the track “Two Ribbons,” this time with the letter being written by Hollingworth. The acoustic guitar and Hollingworth’s airy voice open a new world. They’re no rookies to emotive music; This track slows down and hugs the listener. The album opens with explosive instrumentation, catchy lyrics and high production, but its closer resembles an end-credit scene of a movie about the highs and lows of friendship. The song expresses that the best a friend can do is just be there: “’Cause I haven’t thought for months of anyone but you / And I wanna find the answer / But I can only be your best friend”
Two Ribbons is nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s a diary entry about the twists and turns of a strong, female relationship and just plain life. While we listeners don’t know all the details, by the end of the album, it feels like you know the duo. At the same time, what’s behind closed doors—confusion, sorrow, pain‚ is masked with laughter, carnivals, upbeat melodies and a dream-like ambiance. There was never a point of contempt, but rather an acceptance of life’s twists and turns. Two Ribbons shows experiences as a cycle, ending on a low and opening back up on a high. Trust me—you won’t want to take it off repeat. –Birdy Francis