Wildly imaginative multi-instrumentalists and talented putative pop stars Rosa, 16, and Jenny, 17, met when they were four years old and have been inseparable ever since. They only started playing music together four years ago and since then they’ve been declared “the best band on Earth” by Kiran Leonard, recorded a session for BBC 6 Music, been played on BBC Radio 1, received praise from Richard Dawson, been written about by the NME, the Guardian and the Quietus not to mention playing live shows at The Forge, Cafe Oto and Festival No.6. This June sees them release their debut album, I, Gemini on Transgressive... and they only sat their GCSEs last year.
The band started in 2013 when Rosa was given a second hand acoustic guitar for her birthday and Jenny adopted a battered old ukulele. It was initially an excuse for them to strum and sing along to hits on the radio by the likes of Cee-Lo Green, Janelle Monae and Monsters And Men but they quickly got bored with this. Their first impulse when writing their own songs was to create what they felt they weren’t hearing on the radio. Influenced by playing jazz and classical music both in and out of school and their own desire to explode the pop formula, they started writing a series of uniquely structured compositions. (“I guess we were kind of making up our own rules as we went along. We took what we wanted from pop music but if we didn’t like it we edited it out or changed the structure.”) On a month by month basis their repertoire of instruments expanded and expanded to include the saxophone, the piano, mandolin, drums, synthesizers, harmonica, recorders and whistles despite the fact they didn’t even have an audience... they were only playing music to entertain each other.
But when they were offered a gig at the pub run by parents of a school friend, they saw how their music exerted a bewitching power over other people as well. After several landmark gigs - including one supporting Jane Weaver and Laetitia Sadier at London’s Cafe Oto - they started recording their debut album at the former nuclear bunker turned analog paradise, Old School Studios, Norwich, under the watchful eye of Will Twynham (Hand Of Glory records) who said: “It was the first time they’d ever been recorded, so it was a magical experience. I was really hands off – deliberately choosing to not take the usual studio route of grids and click tracks and rather respect the uniqueness of the situation, encouraging them to play everything live!”
‘Deep Six Textbook’ - the trailer single which has already caused a stir on the internet - refers to the old maritime phrase meaning to throw something overboard and sets out LEG’s desire to chuck the rulebook away. By their own standards the song is both lush and sepulchral and is intended to be the “calm before the storm” as the opening track. Future single ‘Eat Shiitake Mushrooms’ is an organ, synths and glockenspiel bass music banger (complete with rap breakdown) that concerns itself with people’s ability to surpass expectations and surprise everyone. ‘Chocolate Sludge Cake’ and ‘Chimpanzees In Canopies’ both relish in thrusting together seemingly incompatible genres such as R&B with cosmic synth psych; and stark minimalism with freak folk. They reclaim children’s fairy tales back from vacuous “Disneyfication” on ‘Rapunzel’, re-injecting the story with a dark sense of gothic unease. And ‘Sax In The City’ is a dystopian nightmare of people rendered robot slaves by smartphones and tablets - all the more striking for its jaunty lo-fi pop setting.
Let’s Eat Grandma have delivered a smashing debut LP at the age most people are still only just thinking about getting a band together. They say they hope it gets them invited to play on Later… With Jools Holland and a chance to play live in Japan. I’d imagine they’ll easily achieve this and much much more while still teenagers.