In the late 2010’s we began to see a resurgence in riot grrrl, queer core and female fronted grunge. I am overjoyed to watch as more music in these genres comes to the forefront and it feels very special to watch a “Female, queer and unapologetic’ band like Grandmas House create wonderful music that many people who are female and queer can identify with in a way they cannot with other music. In their recent EP ‘Who Am I’ Grandmas House explores the difficult topics of infatuation and body and emotion dissociation in a confident and relatable way.
In the opening track ‘Body’, they take on the topic of body dissociation, starting off with a simple but effective drum beat and an interesting bassline that matches the guitar which comes in soon after. Each instrument gives the song a punchy impact, especially in the build up to the chorus where the guitar becomes more distorted and has so much more power over the songs whole mood. The track is wonderful as it is but the vocals really build the song with the lines “You do not know the face” and “I do not recognise my face” reflecting the whole theme of body dissociation.
When asked about ‘Body’, the trio said it was “an anthem for anyone that’s ever felt uncomfortable in their own skin. An urgent statement of disassociation, feeling trapped and not recognising yourself in the mirror, it’s an ode to anyone who has ever felt different”. To me, discussing not recognising people’s bodies and not saying who those bodies belong to makes it much more powerful, it fully shows that while people may be in their bodies they do not feel like their bodies are truly theirs. My personal highlight of the song was the moment between the second verse and chorus where the guitar and bass suddenly drop out and it is just the drums and the vocals then everything comes back in, the first time I heard it it gave me chills. It was a wonderful way to keep the song interesting.
The next song on the EP is ‘How Does It Feel’, which starts off with a punchy guitar riff over striking drums. What sets this song apart from the rest of the EP, as well as most music currently, is that it is written partially in French and partially in English as an ode to the frontperson Yasmin Berndt and their Belgian heritage. The vocal melody manages to get stuck in your head in both languages, even if you do not understand the language, as does the whole song. It has a rhythm that you cannot help tapping your foot to, it is an incredibly fun song to hear.
The third track is called ‘Desire’. According to Grandmas House “‘Desire’ is about meeting someone new and being immediately intrigued by them. The track focuses on the confusion surrounding infatuation and trying to keep yourself grounded at the same time.”, this is perfectly reflected in the lyrics by having lines in the chorus such as “I desire and I crave you” as well as with “Your desire, it consumes you”. These really reflect how you can be blinded by meeting new people and how important it is to stay realistic.
There is also the wonderful guitar led instrumental which opens the song, and gradually builds up throughout the verses. It starts off having bigger breaks through the strums and having a slower sounding strumming pattern, but it builds into a slower rhythm being played much louder. The drums build with the guitar until it reaches a climax in the chorus. The switch from the chorus back to the verse is incredibly smooth as well, it sounds very natural. This is yet another very well built song.
The final song off the EP is the title track ‘Who Am I’, which starts out with a catchy bass riff which is then played on guitar as well. It is an incredibly catchy and fun ending to the EP, which according to Grandmas House is about “being judged by someone without them really knowing you. Written from the point of view of someone being judged for the negative stereotypes of their zodiac sign, it’s an anthem by gemini’s, for all the other gemini’s out there”. Personally I think the whole use of zodiac signs is a very smart one, it is a very common thing to be judged upon nowadays yet it is rare to find music about it. However, Grandmas House have demonstrated that they have a talent for turning niche subjects into relatable and interesting songs.
Every song in the EP flows into the next while still being unique and individual, each wrote about a subject that is clearly so specific and personal that you cannot help but pay attention to the lyrics. ‘Who Am I’ is a delight to listen to and I cannot wait to hear what Grandmas House does next.