There’s a band in Ohio that has consistently been quietly releasing endearing anecdotes via song. That band is Trying.
Trying has some history with this blog. They played two of our events when they still held to the moniker The Sports. One event was at the beatnik/quirky coffee bar Kafe Kerouac, supporting Watching For Foxes and Out of the Pine (WFF now goes by Winnow). Later, they would kick off the humble first year of Steadfast Festival, supporting The Soil and the Sun, Author, The Homeless Gospel Choir, and more.
I like to think the band’s name is a take on life. At the end of the day, we’re all just trying our best to make sense of it all. They aren’t making any claims they’re the next great thing. It’s more like, “Here’s some of our art. We tried to make it sound good. Hope you like it. But if you don’t, that’s ok! We can still be friends.”
This whole EP has that vibe. All ten minutes of it (less than that, actually). “Dog Videos,” a 1:22 long ditty, could be written off as haphazard, but it isn’t! The first stanza is vaguely sarcastic but mostly seems to convey a shrug in the form of a song. But it’s a “let’s make the best of it” shrug, not a resigned shrug. “Nobody’s crying now / at least not in this house / We’re just making baked goods / and kissing soft on the mouth.”
The songs here are relatable to just about anyone. “If I Don’t Get a Job” is the protagonist speaking to his lover, wanting reassurance of both perseverance through thick and thin, and encouragement in the quirks that inspired the love in the first place. The title track is a love song along the lines of “I Will Follow You Into the Dark.” It’s comforting. Noises warble in and out, hinting at trials and storms against a backdrop that would go nicely with some hot tea. I’d like to see someone make a playlist of quieter, dark love songs and put this on it. “Blowing Wishes” is a warm, breezy song about nostalgia and contemplating the future of a relationship at the same time.
I find the expression of each song to be creative and inspiring. I’ll be honest: sometimes I find newer indie bands to be too quirky for their own good. There’s a fine line between lazy songwriting and creativity. Trying certainly isn’t lazy. And I say that as a listener of this EP and not as a friend of the band.