Long Beach, CA-based indie rock act Sweet Nobody — Joy Deyo (guitar, vocals), Brian Dishon (drums, guitar, vocals), Casey Synder (guitar) and Adam Nolan (bass) — recorded their Joel Jerome-produced sophomore album We’re Trying Our Best in sessions at Hurley Studios and Jerome’s garage prior to the pandemic. Intended for release last summer, the album’s planned release and their plans to support the album were understandably waylaid, much like everything else last year.
The album’s material is informed by Deyo’s struggles with chronic pain from an illness that managed to resist proper diagnosis and treatment — and her experience of trying to learn with pain. And although Deyo couldn’t possibly know what lay ahead for the world when she started writing the album, thematically the album fits our time, as it touches upon addressing the reality of living with challenges and difficulties, the insecurity and uncertainty that feeling damaged can bring, the sustaining support and love that only those close to you can bring and the weirdness of just being around other people.
Slated for a September 17, 2021 release through Daydream Records, We’re Trying Our Best‘s first singles are coming out just as all of us are trying to figure out how to reintegrate into society and deal with others after more than a year of pandemic-related isolation and boredom. But despite the seemingly dark themes, the album reportedly finds the band balancing poignant lyrical concerns and insight with a light sonic touch inspired by Felt‘s Maurice Deebank, Johnny Marr and The Go-Betweens.
Interestingly, the album’s latest single “Not A Good Judge” lyrically and thematically finds its narrator grappling with crippling self-doubt to the point that she wishes that she could quiet that annoying inner voice — but paired with a breezy soundscape that’s one part Flying Nun Records jangle pop, one part The Smiths centered around an anthemic hook and relentless four-on-the-floor.
“For me the creative process is cyclical; I’ll be making things I like and then I’ll get to a point where I’m stuck on something or I can’t access an idea I want,” Sweet Nobody’s Joy Deyo explains in press notes. “I get frustrated with myself and wonder if I ever really ‘had it’. Then I text my husband (our drummer Brian) and tell him I’m afraid I’ll never make anything good again. He laughs and tells me not to worry and not long after I’ll have a breakthrough and get back to feeling confident again. I’m learning to trust that those lows aren’t the final word on my ability to create. ‘Not a Good Judge’ is me on a creative high imploring the me that’s in a creative low not to take it too seriously. It’s about getting out of my own way so I can keep progressing.”