Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Let’s Eat Grandma – It’s Not Just Me

Nostalgia for all!


Hannah Jocelyn: Second single “Falling Into Me” and its close cousin “I Will Be Waiting” are the real highlights from I’m All Ears, but “It’s Not Just Me” is a rare moment where Let’s Eat Grandma using their pop instincts is a misstep. The chopped vocals are probably meant to be a take on the “baby sounds” of late-2010s pop music, but it just sounds too sparse to take off like “Hot Pink,” or the nine-minute opus (and their best song up to this point) “Cool and Collected.” This is especially surprising considering how adventurous Sophie usually is with her production. By anyone else’s standards, this would be a [6] or [7], but Let’s Eat Grandma have an outright masterpiece in them. Songs like this, as boppy as they are, don’t quite get there.

Vikram Joseph: “It’s Not Just Me” fulfils the shimmering, starry-eyed pop banger role on I’m All Ears, but it’s that rare banger where the real pleasures lurk in the spaces in between: the poignant specificity of the lyrics, the washed-out verses, the low-key, backyard firework display of the synths in the chorus. Even though it’s objectively huge, it still feels like it exists in a half-awake, crepuscular morning haze, like an early-morning ride to the airport with streaks of light starting to appear in the northeast sky, your stomach starting to turn tricks on itself — a sensation only deepened by the fractured, gorgeous travelogue of the Ibiza-filmed video. The most obvious point of comparison would be Chvrches, but it’s the best Chvrches song since 2013, with a subtlety and restraint that the Scottish group seem to have left behind. More specifically, in its soft-focus euphoria and dazed hopefulness, it reminds me of both Kylie Minogue’s “All The Lovers” and Grimes’ “Realiti.” It could be about friendship or romantic love, but either way I can’t think of a song in recent years which captures the uncertain, tentative, disorientating rush of a deepening emotional connection: the little details about peanut bagels and New Year’s Eve, the way that “guess I’ll see you when the screen is vibrating” captures a perfect, specific, intoxicating anxiety. Most of all, Let’s Eat Grandma are proving themselves to be wonderful at evoking empathy through music — “It’s not just me”, we’re in this together. Or, to put it another way, “we got this.”

Alfred Soto: The DNA of early Björk — the playful Björk — and current Chvrches needs no electro microscope to spot, but the overt melancholy puts a damper on the track; “It’s Not Just Me” feels at once too long and too short.

Hazel Southwell: One of the things that makes Chvrches really good is that they sound like they ought to be twee but aren’t at all. Let’s Eat Grandma are absolutely the same school of sound but walk the wrong side of that line. Xenomania-style lyrics like “Now we’re both so unstable at the kitchen table/With these peanut bagels in a foreign state” turn cutesy delivered in too cool a tone. Which baffles me given their album opener is a naff hurl of everything including a harpsichord into the kitchen sink. Definitely more than salvageable with a remix.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: This is a polished, propulsive piece of synth-pop craft — it hits all of the bits of my brain still left awed from the first Chvrches album, in the way it builds up squelching noises and cut-up vocals into high melodrama. But the thing, unfortunately, that sticks with me every time I listen to “It’s Not Just Me” is the reference to peanut bagels, which is so weird and specific that it threatens to overwhelm the rest of the song. I do not know what this means.

Eleanor Graham: “Deep Six Textbook” contains some of my favourite songwriting ever, and the girls are even better in a straightforward pop framework. The use of vignette to capture days and nights at once mundane, sparkling and alien will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has listened to Pure Heroine as much as I have — “peanut bagels/in a foreign state” and “New Year’s Eve/sparklers through palaced streets” might skewer the ephemera of teenage life even better than “the drink you spilt all over me” and “reeling through the midnight streets.” Those dropped T’s are still an acquired taste, though.

Rebecca A. Gowns: The reverb and the stutter in the chorus reminds me of a Lomo Supersampler I had when I was 19, and I love that the video has the same kind of effect. A four-part collage of one moment, made in-camera. The prints I have from that little plastic camera look retro, silly, kitschy and achingly earnest all the same. This song is filled with that sentiment too; shoot-from-the-hip, a little tongue-in-cheek, but mostly heart-on-sleeve.

Alex Clifton: Spangly, shiny, and sharp. Listening to it on repeat is like a heady sugar rush, which is to say it gets overwhelming. But for a few moments, everything slots into place, and those moments are so worth it.

Reader average: [8.5] (4 votes)

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3 Responses to “Let’s Eat Grandma – It’s Not Just Me”

  1. Argh, I just missed this in the blurber. Would have been an easy [8] or [9] from me.

  2. seems like the jukebox’s opinion on the bagels line is split even if we all like the song decently well

  3. the bagels are valid!!!