It’s been a good four years since Hollerado’s excellent sophomore album, White Paint, but the wait has proven to be more than worthwhile as the group has returned with their best album yet in Born Yesterday. They clearly have something important to say, and do so without compromising any of the lightheartednesses that make Hollerado a pure joy to experience.
The album opens with the title track, ‘Born Yesterday’, which immediately sets the tone for what this record is primarily about: having a good time. This is then followed by ‘Don’t Shake’, which begins with some staccato synth and lead singer Menno Versteeg shakily singing about finding that person to love before boisterously transitioning into its catchy chorus.
The band then takes a more bluesy approach in ‘Brick Wall’ which tells the tale of a farm boy in Mexico and takes a decidedly human stance on the immigration policy of our neighbours to the south as the chorus bellows: “I walk alone the desert at night/And I follow lights towards the border/And I say “Hey, what’s a brick wall doing in my way?””.
These three tracks prove to be a flawless opening on an album marked by a distinct lack of flaws. Every following track proves as welcome as the last, and at no point does the album get weighed down by the heady themes it tackles. ‘Grief Money’, the album’s darkest track, comes closest to succumbing to this weight, but Hollerado masterfully sidesteps the danger as they transition into ‘I Got You’, a song as upbeat as they come, in which the company of someone you love is worth far more than any company you could ever own. The song also displays the group’s obvious affinity for Tom Petty, as they make a sly reference to his hit, ‘Even the Losers’ (from his 1979 album Damn the Torpedoes, which Hollerado also allude to in their song ‘I Want My Medicine’ from White Paint).
Born Yesterday ends with ‘If It Is Love’, a beautiful track which finds the band leaving us with a hopeful message of love. “If it is love you love the most/Know I will please you, Lord”. To Hollerado, the answer is always love.
The group have matured during their time away, which saw them ambitiously experiment with their 111 Songs project, and seem to have grown even more hopeful, optimistic, and empathetic in a time where these qualities seem increasingly hard to come by. This is an album which features fantastically fun and thoughtful music from beginning to end, music which is guaranteed to simultaneously leave a smile on your face and a crease in your brow as you wonder how it’s possible to feel so good about the undoubtedly tumultuous times ahead.
Best Tracks: ‘Don’t’ Shake’, ‘Grief Money’, ‘I Got You’, and ‘Eloise’ , but, honestly, every song is worth a listen.