We Were Trying to Make It Out was written following Neale‘s Grant McLennan fellowship win which saw him spend three months in New York City during 2018, attending songwriting masterclasses at NYU, collaborating with local writers and as it turns out, most importantly, resetting his life.
Many years stuck in a cycle of ever-changing work, relentless side-hustling and various degrees of financial ruin had taken a toll and the opportunity to escape the pressure cooker for a brief period of time helped immensely to cure the burnout.
The distance from home enabled a birds-eye view of what was and wasn’t working and enabled him to figure out what exactly he wanted from music and how the desire to create music could fit into a life worth living. Upon his return home to Brisbane, Australia, armed with new purpose and an openness to collaboration, he set to work on recording his sophomore record We Were Trying to Make It Out.
Sonically, We Were Trying to Make It Out contains Neale’s penchant for melodic hooks, delivered coherently and directly without compromise or pastiche. This is the Jeremy Neale sound – the result of years of searching and refining – honest, fully realised and immediate. Guitar pop underpinned by classic songwriting is potentially the recipe for finding oneself outside the current musical climate but is also the hallmark of creating something truly timeless.
On We Were Trying to Make It Out Neale explains the album title as the justification for the brutality you’ll put yourself through in an attempt to escape your demons.“There are a lot of sacrifices you have to make in order to create music if you’re not major label backed or independently wealthy and every mistake you make has direct consequences for your everyday quality of life.”
We Were Trying to Make It Out is a record written across two cities and two years. Early Jeremy Neale recordings might have read as a tribute to those who came before him, but here on his second record – he has found his sound and his voice.
is out now via Dot Dash / Remote Control