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Chris Mardini Releases “I’ll Try”

Chris Mardini’s name keeps coming up among discriminating pop fans lately, and taking a look at the music video for his new single “I’ll Try” definitely sheds some light on why. Rather than hitting us with the same old verse-chorus-verse anti-conceptualism we’ve heard a billion times before, Mardini likes to straddle a hook with minimalist harmonies while going out of his way to make an otherwise unassuming verse the centerpiece of his narrative. Poetry is sourced as much from the backdrop as it is from the man occupying the spotlight in this single, and it’s left me eager for more from this player in the near future. 

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As a vocalist, Chris Mardini makes a point of staying away from the pitfalls that would typically befall a singer with an ear for the delicate in contemporary pop by constantly pushing himself both lyrically and melodically over the course of a single performance. “I’ll Try” ebbs and flows, and therefore he has to modulate quite a bit just as a means of sticking with the rhythm of the music as opposed to leading the band behind him in a predictably bullish manner. He delivers and then some, but for those who have heard his work before, we know to expect this in anything he plays. 

The bottom-end of the mix is a little fat in “I’ll Try,” especially as we get into the latter half of the song, but I think this helps to support the melodicism Mardini is presenting us with as a singer even more than it does the fretwork or the swing of the percussion. There’s nothing wrong with exploiting a bass texturally and tonally when you can get something as sterling out of the process as this player does in his latest single, but I wouldn’t recommend untrained artists trying to do the same in their own music. 

Framing the music with a captivating video seems to have come rather naturally to Chris Mardini here, and the production quality itself is something to be proud of. There is such a thing as being able to have a really clean, crisp instrumental sound without over-varnishing the music to the degree of sounding synthetic and fake, and a track like “I’ll Try” proves it; in sticking with a black and white finish for everything but the vocal, this player manages to make a lot of his competition look and sound silly this September. 

I love the contrast within “I’ll Try” as well as the overall fluidity of Chris Mardini’s performance, and while I think there’s a lot more room for him to continue experimenting with the fundamentals of his present artistry, he’s got the right idea in this single for sure. The music video for “I’ll Try” really sums up this artist’s personality in more ways than one, specifically with regard to how seriously he takes the craft. He’s well on his way to the big stage, and a mindful piece like this one definitely solidifies his place on my list of artists to keep a close watch over in 2021 and 2022. 

Mindy McCall



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