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Let’s Eat Grandma - Two Ribbons Music Album Reviews

Let’s Eat Grandma - Two Ribbons Music Album Reviews
Retaining all of the light-hearted surreality that made its first two records so bewitching, the UK synth-pop duo makes the sound of grief and joy glimmer on the dancefloor.

Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton have spoken candidly about how the cracks in their lifelong friendship formed the basis of Two Ribbons, their new album as Let’s Eat Grandma. The pair have been close since they were small children, but while touring their second album together—2018’s I’m All Ears—they started to feel pulled in separate directions. Hollingworth, who also experienced a devastating loss when her boyfriend, musician Billy Clayton, passed away from a rare form of cancer in 2019, told The Guardian that she felt they were “fundamentally misunderstanding each other in some way.” Like the title song's core image—of two fraying ribbons, distinct yet tied tightly together—they wrote the album’s songs separately, for the first time in their collaboration.

But despite this individual process, the result is their most cohesive project yet. They have evolved dramatically since they emerged in 2016 when they were still teenagers. Their debut, I, Gemini, was an intriguing, deliberate mishmash of grunge-y psychedelia and disarming nonsense rhymes, with their higher, softer voices leaning into each other in such a way that made them indistinguishable. On I’m All Ears, their sound took a more forceful shape through a collaboration with the producer SOPHIE, and they moved beyond oblique, nonsense lyricism towards a vivid impressionistic style.

Two Ribbons retains all of the light-hearted surreality that made their first two records so bewitching, but out of necessity, the songwriting is braver. This is not an “ordinary pain,” as Hollingsworth sings bitterly on the dramatic ballad “Insect Loop,” but a feeling of being yanked apart. Even when the album is ostensibly upbeat, there’s angst between the synth stabs; on “Levitation,” Walton sings of breaking down in the bathroom, then going out dancing to forget about her “catastrophic Saturday” in a frank, diaristic style that avoids the cliché of simple misery. On the glimmering, joyful crush song “Hall of Mirrors,” there are gloomy images that linger: shivering on the London Overground, writing secrets on bathroom walls, watching the rain in an airport boarding lounge.

The record is punctuated by similar mentions of movement, transition, and turbulent weather. Hollingworth opens the gently rolling, new age song “Sunday” with the declaration, “We took the long way ’round the mountain” before depicting an epic journey under moonbeams and an endless sky, only to discover that she feels further away than ever from her traveling partner. On the spare, guitar-driven title track, Hollingworth delicately compares the movement of relationships in her life to the “the rains that come down in October.” Like these rains, and the fields and rivers that dominate the visual landscape of this album, there's nothing more natural than the inevitable ebb and flow of people in and out of our lives.

Dual-process theory, a model of grief counseling, claims that grief doesn't follow a logical trajectory of five stages—it’s an ocean that comes in waves, a process of “oscillation.” Grievers are constantly thrown between periods of feeling OK, even hopeful, and periods of acutely feeling the loss of the past. As Joan Didion wrote in her memoir The Year of Magical Thinking, “in the version of grief we imagine, the model will be ‘healing.’ A certain forward movement will prevail.” In reality, grief is an “unending absence,” a “relentless succession of moments.” Walton and Hollingworth's take on grief and growth is exactly this: a sequence of moments, bright and bleak and powerful.

Nothing is tied up neatly, but in everything, there’s an immense sense of space. A breeze blows through wind chimes in the background of “Sunday,” birds chirp throughout the interlude “In the Cemetery,” and fireworks blow “Happy New Year” wide open. Instead of a more trite narrative of healing, Let’s Eat Grandma give us folk-rock howls and transcendent disco that’s spiked with sadness, all bearing a glimmer of hope.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Let’s Eat Grandma - Two Ribbons Music Album Reviews Let’s Eat Grandma - Two Ribbons Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, May 09, 2022 Rating: 5

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