[sic] Magazine

Hollywood Bedsheets – We Aren’t Who We Are

From the borderlands of Brussels’ sprawling periphery come Hollywood Bedsheets, a four-piece, alt rock act seen previously in our first glances featurette. Since their 2017 debut the American/Belgian outfit have been virtual ever-presents on the local live circuit, honing their stagecraft and deepening their understanding of the band dynamics. This becomes instantly apparent on latest album, We Aren’t Who We Are. Ostensibly an indie rock band, Hollywood Bedsheets shrug off lazy pigeonholing, not because of any obtuse or contrarian attitude but simply out of their love of songwriting. One genre alone could never fully define this set of beautifully crafted and executed tracks.

The new album is an admirable body of work, bookended with real sonic heft. Skyscraper guitars open the record (You Are A Bird) whilst post-rocky crescendos punctuate the wonderful closing track, Angels (no, not that one) In-between we are treated to a fine, musical dining experience taking in may different courses including indie, pop, emo, alt-rock, lo-fi and jangle-pop. There are even some ‘heartland’, blues rock- inspired moments manifesting in some serious riffage. One gets the impression that a guitar solo or a power ballad wouldn’t be totally out of the question for Hollywood Bedsheets.

Whilst the varied sonic pallet is remarkable, the albums lyrical themes are far more constant. We Aren’t Who We Are is primarily concerned about life’s journeys. Whether those journeys are romantic, creative or something more introspective, destinations take a back seat (pun intended) to personal growth on this sophomore long-player. Most of the material here deals with change on some level. Eg Open Road, the lead single and something of a cornerstone for this album deals with days spent chasing the sun whilst the “Pictures”, namechecked in the albums second track, are of the person you’re going to become, hence giving the LP its title.

Where some bands chase a specific sound, Hollywood Bedsheets have always been in pursuit of the perfect song. There are more than a few here. Indeed, We Aren’t Who We Are is such a solid record that could easily have gone track-by-track. However I often feel such articles are better done in conjunction with the artists themselves. With the quality of the material and the natural flow of the sequencing it becomes less about standout tracks and more about the whole album. I’ll put a selection below and you’ll see for yourselves.

“Engine, don’t fail me now.”

Hollywood Bedsheets are on the road, following their dreams. At this rate, they’ll get there but that’d be entirely missing the point.

It’s all about the journey.

We Aren’t Who We Are is available now via most streaming platforms or via the Linktree provided.

For fans of Real Estate, Teenage Fanclub, Band Of Horses, The Boxer Rebellion, Decemberists, Say Hi, The National, Death Cab For Cutie

First Glances feature