KEXP Live at Iceland Airwaves 2016, Day 4: Let's Eat Grandma

Iceland Airwaves
Katy McCourt-Basham
Photos by Jim Bennett

A sizable crowd gathered at KEX Hostel quite early in the day to catch strange and wonderful music from young English experimental electro-pop duo Let's Eat Grandma. The teenage band is comprised of lifelong best friends Rosa and Jenny, who display wisdom and musical prowess well beyond their years. They've had incredible success in their native UK, with positive critical reception for their debut album I, Gemini, released by Transgressive Records in June. Their music is at times slow and crawling, at others bright and upbeat. All beautiful, but steeped in weirdness. They have high, childlike voices (think Joanna Newsom or Kría Brekkan) that shine perfectly over their otherworldly music. Let's Eat Grandma is a perfect fit for Airwaves—between the creepy name and out-there sound, it has a distinctily Icelandic feel. 

Let's Eat Grandma opened with "Deep Six Textbook." With slow, metronomic beats and warm synthy tones like a church organ in outer space, their high, clear voices staggered over each other in what is possibly the prettiest song about cannibalism ever made. "Eat Shiitake Mushrooms" took things up a notch, with tinny synth and dancey beats bringing the crowd out of their hangovers and onto the dance floor. They describe their sound as “psychedelic sludge pop” and a more accurate description would be difficult to come by. Let's Eat Grandma have a unique blend of styles and sounds, from the chiming music box-style intro of "Rapunzel" and even a short rap segment. Keeping the audience on their toes, they regularly included unexpected instruments: an alto sax, a recorder, and a mandolin previously played by The Pogues. Having achieved so much at such a young age, there's certainly a bright future in the works for these two, and it will be a pleasure to follow their work along the way.

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