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Two Ribbons elegantly holds Let's Eat Grandma's friendship close to its heart

"Two Ribbons"

Release date: 29 April 2022
Lets eat grandma two ribbons art
26 April 2022, 20:11 Written by Rachel Saywitz
While in lockdown in Norwich, Jenny Hollingworth and Rosa Walton – who together form the duo Let’s Eat Grandma – would take walks together to a nearby cemetery.

Graveyards were something Hollingworth had come to find a strange comfort in after the death of her boyfriend, electronic musician Billy Clayton, in March 2019. Walking with Walton was a chance to escape the stuffy melancholy of quarantine – to exist, and grieve, in the presence of nature.

Those moments are captured on “In the Cemetery,” a short interlude found on the latter half of the duo’s third full length album, Two Ribbons. The track – gentle and wordless, scattered with birdsong and insect chirping – is a reiteration of the running theme of Two Ribbons,charting a friendship that has been permanently changed through moments of loss and maturation.

It also sounds separate from the electro-pop psychedelic world that the two created in their 2016 debut I, Gemini, and its critically acclaimed follow up, I’m All Ears, in 2018. And while the glitz and oddities of their previous work still come through in Two Ribbons, the music still feels subdued in a way, as if covered by a sheer layer of organza. Here, you’re asked to listen more closely, to catch the unsaid words that float through an instrumental solo or a lyrical chant and hold them through the next verse.

The divide between Hollingworth and Walton has never been clearer in Two Ribbons, nor the subject matter more intimate. Hollingworth and Walton wrote separately on the album for the first time, and the resulting maturity in their musical style is both natural (the album comes four years after their last) and necessary. Both have talked at length about how their childhood sisterly bond began to fray at the edges while touring for I’m All Ears, a dissolution based not in fights or fundamental disagreements, but words that weren’t landing and thoughts that stayed hidden.

In that sense, Two Ribbons sounds like a conversation, the sonic space of the record built like an open-air confession booth. Hollingworth and Walton both have grievances, yes, but they also have the patience to listen and build upon them accordingly. Hollingworth adds a smooth, euphoric saxophone solo to Walton’s dream-pop anthem to bisexual discovery in “Hall of Mirrors.” Likewise, in the Hollingworth-penned “Watching You Go,” about her relationship with Clayton, Walton plays a wailing guitar lick to lift the kaleidoscopic dance track to devastating heights.

This interplay – already quintessential to a Let’s Eat Grandma record – elevates the album and makes clear the friendship between the two has only grown stronger. Two Ribbons illustrates that love isn’t fixed through grand gestures. It’s slowly pieced back together through mutual care and trust.

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