Chris Mardini – “I’ll Try” (PREMIERE)

While typically an essential element in any alternative pop/rock track, the complex relationship between Chris Mardini’s vocal and the texture of the guitar melodies he creates in the new single and music video “I’ll Try” is critical to understanding the emotional depth behind the lyricism in this song, which ranks among some of his very best to date in my book. In “I’ll Try,” Mardini doesn’t restrict himself to a lone channel of communication; he extends an expressiveness frequently limited to verses alone unto more intricate aspects of his sound – such as harmony or even the crispness of a bass part – ultimately making it difficult for the listener to step away from this performance without feeling something from the narrative at hand. 

There’s a fractured dreaminess to the music video for “I’ll Try” that immediately caught my attention as being exceptional, but it’s not offered to us in such an elaborate fashion as to imply arrogance or an artsy sense of self-righteousness at all (a common pitfall among highbrow indie releases like this one). For the most part, Mardini’s tone in both the video and the song on its own is really humble and inviting, yielding a surreal backdrop that is ambitious but not inaccessible to the casual passerby and the serious audiophile alike. That’s difficult for any artist to pull off, let alone someone still in the process of finding their footing within the vastly expanding international underground of alternative musicians in 2020. 

Beyond the tonal grit that we discover in this single, I don’t know that you have to be a professional critic like myself to pick up on the rather poppy construction of the composition in general. Mardini affords most everything he puts his name on a smooth execution, and though his approach hasn’t changed much since making his initial debut just last year, there’s a component of self-control to his delivery in this performance that tells me we should expect future releases to sport just as efficient a finish. This is something that has the potential to set him apart from scores of contemporaries who espouse minimalist principles in the writer’s room but inevitably fall victim to their own indulgences when they get into the studio; as of now, such issues just aren’t an issue for this artist. 

Chris Mardini drops one heck of an incendiary addition to his growing discography of intriguing songs in “I’ll Try” that is almost guaranteed to stoke some praise from the critical pyre this autumn season, and though he’s been evolving since day one, I don’t believe it would be too much to say that he’s raised the bar for himself yet again here. “I’ll Try” doesn’t boast a lot of synthetic filler or grandeur courtesy of the mixing board, but instead a conceptual virtuosity that is starting to sound like a uniquely Mardini product. The video was shot at The Brooklyn Bowl in New York and directed by Brielle Brown and Griffin Lotz. I imagine his momentum will only increase as 2021 approaches.  

Garth Thomas, posted by Nicole Killian 

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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