Equipped with little experience and an innate ability to Google, we dove head first into the internet and released onto this world (or atleast parts of the Midwest) our baby — We’re Trying Records. The sole purpose of this endeavor was offer resources and support to our artists, and the surrounding community of artists, so that their hard work and talents wouldn’t go unnoticed.
Throughout the year, we’ve tackled everything from releasing music to curating shows all of which helped us further our mission and, hopefully, affected every band we worked with in a positive way. With that being said, thumb through the rest of the article to see some of the key milestones in our first year:
-Mighty Ships — “The Coastal Midwest” (WTR001)
Normal, IL’s Mighty Ships released their debut LP — “The Coastal Midwest” — via We’re Trying last September. The album slowly came together over a year’s span as frontman Tyler Bachman wrote and structured each song, and drummer Charlie Morrison worked to make the album flourish rhythmically. The album really came together after the band started working with former Into It. Over It. guitarist Matt Jordan. With an ironic title, Bachman describes the album as a search for belongingness. “The Coastal Midwest represents a place where I feel like I don’t have a piece of solid ground to stand on.” He goes on to say, “I hope this album connects with everyone else who has felt like they’re nowhere.”
-I Forgot To Love My Father — “Live on HNFM” (WTR002)
I Forgot To Love My Father demonstrated their rise to a full-on, rock n’ roll band on their release of “Live on HNFM” — a four songs cassette from the band’s performance on Hear Nebraska FM back in October. Chalk full of bummer jams, country tunes, and screeching blues songs, “Live on HNFM” demonstrates an array of talent. “The tape has no pattern lyrically. It’s basically covers missing friends, reliving our Hot Topic days, and our friend Jacob’s tasteful bolo ties,” frontman JP Davis said. “We just wanted a collection of songs that describe our current sound.”
-Super Ghost — “Sultan of Swat: Lo-Fi Tape #1” (WTR003)
“Sultan of Swat: Lo-Fi Tape #1” is the first in a series of limited lo-fi tapes being released from Omaha, NE’s typically post-rock group, Super Ghost. The change of pace coincides with the band’s love of the genre, and the fact that despite not using the best equipment, mixing, or mastering the album, it can still conjure up an emotional response in listeners. The maturing musicians are also using this release to foreshadow what is next for them as a band, “Growing up, I was obsessed with Babe Ruth,” Newbold explained. “I feel like right now as a band we’re walking up to the plate, pointing up at the sky, and calling where we’re going to hit the ball to.”
-Marrowstone — “Dear Wolf,” (WTR004)
Taking over a year to craft, “Dear Wolf,” delivers a five song, first hand look into frontman Zach Baker’s deep depression through lyrical imagery based on the Pacific Northwest. “It was a tough time in my life. I was dealing with losing a friend to drugs and just begging God to keep the fire in me from going out,” Baker said. “As a group, we wanted this EP to demonstrate how we can move forward from our illnesses and provide help to others that might feel hopeless.” The EP is emotionally draining at points, but offers up a message new hope at the end. “We just want listeners to know that no matter what happens in your lives, no matter how big the wave is, it wont drown you.”
-Secret Stuff w/ The Foxery, Super Ghost, and Mighty Ships
This show was a special one for us. Not only did we have Nashville’s Secret Stuff and Louisville’s The Foxery on the bill, but this was the first show for Mighty Ships in Omaha and the first time the label mates played together. *Proud label moment*
-UT Events + Entertainment & We’re Trying Records Presents: Patio Block Party
We teamed up with the University of Texas’ Campus Events + Entertainment to throw the first Patio Block Party. Over 300 students came out to UT’s Union for free donuts from Voodoo Doughnuts, art by Lindsey Redifer, and music from local bands Hyperreals and Kindatheart.
-We’re Trying Records & Tiny Table Talks Present: Summer Slam I
This summer, we teamed up with our friends in Tiny Table Talks to host the inaugural Summer Slam series — a five week concert series which incorporated 16 local musicians, and took place around various Austin venues. For a complete list of bands and venues click here.
-We’re Trying Records Presents: Benson First Friday
Our last show of the year took place where our inspiration came from: Omaha, Nebraska. This four band bill included some of the best talent in the area, as Guts, The Way Out, No•Getter, and Super Ghost took the Sydney’s stage.
So, to all the bands that have played our shows, all the bloggers that have ignored our press releases, all our family members that don’t know what we’re doing, and everyone else whose has taken some interest in our label: Thank you. We love you.
None of this would have any meaning without you.
XOXO — We’re Trying Records