Song of the Day: “Try Hard Fool”


The most recent single from The Growlers, “Try Hard Fool”, is a laid back ballad with little nuggets of wisdom tucked inside its self-deprecating lyrics.

Like last week, we’ll be covering some of the best new music to look out for during the final days of September. If you were following along with us last week, you’ll already know that we’ve covered a lot so far. But these days, it can seem like there’s a new single out every time you log in to social media. So to keep the search for the good stuff easy, we’ll keep dishing out songs you can’t keep out of your head.

“Try Hard Fool” was released earlier this month, in anticipation for The Growlers’ upcoming album, “Natural Affair”. Two other singles have been released so far from The Growlers for their new album. The title track, “Natural Affair”, and “Foghorn Town”. All three of the singles signal a return to a slightly more mellow sound for the band, with “Try Hard Fool” leading the way.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s first take a look at The Growlers themselves, for those who aren’t familiar with them.

The Growlers

The Growlers are an American rock band that formed in 2006. While that statement is true, it feels bad to stick The Growlers under a label so generic as “rock”, and leave it at that. What’s harder to do is attempt to pin them down to any one genre, when their career and style displays a wide range of versatility. At their most basic, one could categorize them as garage rock. But their music also contains elements of psychedelia, surf rock, and pop with a strong ’80s vibe.

In 2007, The growlers self-released their first album, “Greatest Hits”, which is a brilliant and hilarious name for a debut LP. Their first official album on a record label came two years later with 2009’s, “Are You In or Out” on Everloving Records. Since then, The growlers have continued to release albums and EPs on a regular basis, putting out a total of six albums and four EPs. “Natural Affair” will be The Growlers’ eighth studio album (excluding “Greatest Hits).

Along with putting out a steady stream of music, The Growlers also organize their annual Beach Goth music festival, which they’ve been doing since 2012. Just like their style, Beach Goth features artists from a wide variety of genres including rap, hip hop, pop, heavy metal, and rock. Beach Goth 2019 will take place on Halloween during the middle of The Growlers’ current world tour.

Try Hard Fool

“Try Hard Fool” is the most recently released single to The Growlers’ upcoming album, “Natural Affair”. This mellow single features atmospheric synths, acoustic guitar, and a peppy drum beat, with vocalist Brooks Nielsen’s droning voice offering the right amount of contrast and harmony for this melodic, yearning ballad.

In a press release for “Try Hard Fool”, Nielsen talks about the lyrics and inspiration behind the song. “‘Try Hard Fool’. It’s an old term we used growing up. Like, ‘That kid’s a try-hard.’ Trying too hard to be popular, trying to be successful. If I feel like I’m trying too hard at anything, I have to check myself. The lyrics are directed at me, keeping me in line, reminding me to take a break, but don’t quit.”


After getting a bit of behind the scenes info on the lyrics by Nielsen, we can now analyze the lyrics in a new light. But while these lyrics may be him talking to himself, they contain within them a lot of choice wisdom that anyone can benefit from. More than any of them, however, the chorus rings true.

“It’s just a game though you ain’t no child
You gotta laugh every once in a while
Without danger there ain’t no style
But you can only try so hard”

More words of wisdom come in the form of short couplets like, “Nobody said it would be easy / And if it was, you wouldn’t want it, want it”, and “Pause but don’t quit / Don’t let a heart forget”.

Final Thoughts

The poignant lyrics and accompanying mellow, atmospheric music makes “Try Hard Fool” another solid single from The Growlers. If you liked the song and are hoping to see them live, now’s your chance, because The Growlers are currently on tour. You can find all of the tour dates and locations here. And if you’re feeling up to it and have no Halloween plans, try checking out their Beach Goth festival this year.

That about wraps up our discussion for today. I hope you enjoyed listening to The Growlers’ new single, “Try Hard Fool”. We’ll be back tomorrow with more music to keep you going through the week.


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