Let's Eat Grandma on Their 'Different Pop,' Sudden Fame

Offbeat duo on how their "creative friendship" led them to Glastonbury and beyond

U.K. duo Let's Eat Grandma discuss what goes into their "different pop music" and why their fame is less sudden than it seems. Credit: Francesca Allen for Rolling Stone

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When it comes to their budding career as successful musicians, lifelong friends Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingsworth are typically quite blasé. But calling from the U.K. on a recent morning, the duo, who perform as outré pop band Let's Eat Grandma, exude palpable amazement as they look ahead to their booking at the legendary Glastonbury Fest. "If someone had told us that we'd be playing Glastonbury when we were 13 we wouldn't have believed them," Walton admits with a laugh. But, Hollingsworth notes of the pair's seemingly overnight rise to critical acclaim following last year's bold debut album, I, Gemini, "It wasn't a big all-at-once thing. Though I think when we look back it can be quite weird."

Long nurturing what Hollingsworth calls a "creative friendship," the Norwich-raised duo first began writing music together at age 10; by their mid-teens, and while attending college for music, they were shooting short films and recording "proper songs," some of which appear on I, Gemini. In short order Let's Eat Grandma found itself with a passionate local fan base, thanks in large part to their provocative live shows: Onstage the pair utilize multiple instruments, and have even been known to lay flat on their backs or sit down on the stage when performing. Their music is equally as unrestrained: I, Gemini veers from psych-rock textures to sludgy riffs and full-bore pop hooks. On their breakout track, "Eat Shiitake Mushrooms," they even venture into hip-hop. "It's just different pop music," Hollingsworth offers of the band's music. "If you can take the bad aspects of pop music out – like the fact that it can be a bit contrived – and use genuine emotion but with the same catchiness it can be a really good thing."

Both girls are 18, but they say their relative youth only helps them in shattering stereotypes. "There's an assumption that teenage girls only like shopping," Hollingsworth says. "It's not true. There's loads of our friends who are really creative." Both express optimism at their generation's increased political activism (Walton references a record-setting youth voter turnout in the recent U.K. election), but don't go expecting either of them to espouse their personal beliefs on social media. "People should find out about us by listening to our music," Walton says. "Everything that we say in our music is probably a lot more representative of who we are than anything we could post," adds Hollingsworth. "When you release new music you want people to feel like, 'OK, I'm finally getting the answer to that question.'"