What does it even mean to be a “best friend,” anyway? Let’s Eat Grandma, the British pop duo made up of Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth, explore this question as they reconnect on their third album, Two Ribbons.
It’s been four years since the duo’s sophomore album, I’m All Ears, was released to critical acclaim. The album gained international praise thanks to Walton and Hollingworth’s prismatic sound, as well as production cameos from the late groundbreaking electronic musician SOPHIE. While the band’s biggest arrival yet into the public eye seemed like the perfect opportunity for them to leap straight into the next phase of their music, Let’s Eat Grandma took a break as both women chose to focus instead on their personal lives.
Two Ribbons can be seen as a reunification of sorts, and a love letter to a friendship that’s persevered between the two since childhood. But there’s more to it than that—the album also looks at the aftereffects of loss and millennial uncertainty. Two Ribbons isn’t afraid to dig into the harder questions, examining the meaning of a strong friendship and how long even the most meaningful of bonds can truly last. “I can only be your best friend, and I hope that that’s enough,” Hollingworth sings on the title track, a poignant closer that builds with each verse. “But I know that’s not enough.”
The duo’s production is as good as ever, a synth and guitar-heavy collection of glittering songs that swell at the perfect emotional peaks and dim at just the right time to showcase both artists’ vocal capabilities. Meanwhile, the instrumental track “In The Cemetery” sounds like something from an old Sega Genesis game, drawing listeners into its 8-bit world and wishing they could stay longer.
“Look at what I made with you,” Walton and Hollingworth sing to each other on “Happy New Year,” a pulsing, jubilant track that opens Two Ribbons. It’s a line that sticks in the back of your head throughout the album as Let’s Eat Grandma celebrates and ruminates on the group’s special bond. It’s an engaging listen that manages to balance joy and melancholy all at once.