Cameron Carr said the quartet's new EP is an attempt to "speak to where we're at in our life at [this] time"

Prior to forming Trying, Cameron Carr spent hours on YouTube devouring performance series like La Blogotheque, in which bands like the National, Feist and Bon Iver perform stripped-down sets in unique locales around France. Bon Iver, for instance, delivered a stirring, a cappella “For Emma” in the hallway of an apartment building, dodging amused tenants and petting random dogs while singing about a girl who remains lovable despite all of her lies.

“I’d watch these bands I like do these sessions that were more stripped-down, with fewer electric instruments, typically,” Carr said in a mid-August interview. “Then they’d bring in these instruments like glockenspiels and violins, and I thought it was really cool. A lot of times those were my favorite versions of songs. … With Trying, we’ve played with a violin, and I think we’ve used a glockenspiel for the entirety of the band. … I wanted to do something a little different from the two guitars, bass, drums sort of thing.”

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As a result, there’s a fragility in Trying’s music reflected in everything from the oft-delicate indie-pop instrumentation to Carr’s lyrics, which frequently center on the uncertainty of relationships on the quartet’s new EP, I Won’t Let You Lose the Rhythm, which the band will celebrate with a release show at Kafe Kerouac on Sunday, Aug. 18. “Darkness will come every night,” Carr sings pensively on the title track, which sounds as if it were recorded amid midnight stillness. “Just let me be by your side.”

“I was just talking to the rest of the band when we were on tour, and we were talking about the recurring factors or themes in the songs, and someone brought up that connection between people,” said Carr, who’s joined in the band by drummer Zayn Dweik and multi-instrumentalists Brady Costigan and Laura Lenhart.

But Carr’s connections are rarely straightforward. Rather than love songs or shattered breakup tunes, Trying songs tend to focus on those more ambiguous moments, which Carr said “feels more true to life.”

“Along with the small moments, I think I’m drawn to a lot of the ordinariness of life, which feels more along the lines of how we experience it,” he continued. “We don’t always experience these big, grand moments. We experience these small things that may seem insignificant to someone else, but to us have significance. … I think the best releases, for us, will speak to where we’re at in our life at the time, which is maybe not one, in-caps emotion. I’m trying to capture things that are more ambiguous.”

I Won’t Let You Lose the Rhythm is the first in a series of thematic EPs Trying plans to release in the coming months, which will then be combined and fleshed out with additional tracks for a full-length album sometime in 2020. In taking this approach, Carr is hopeful that the context of even this batch of songs could change when set against other, thematically different songs, adding to the slippery, indefinable nature of the band’s music.

“If you listen to the one EP and you’re told, ‘It’s this,’ then it’s easy to think it’s all supportive and positive,” Carr said. “But if you take those songs and mix them with other songs that are maybe more negative … I think the context can be flipped. … We were really interested in trying to make something that might cause people to re-frame things.”