On the new episode of Eclectic Soundtrax, hosts Skunk Manhattan and Victor Ramos chat with New York City native, Chris Mardini. At only 20 years old, Mardini has released an impressive string of singles, along a self-titled debut album. Hailing from Greenwich Village, the epicenter of New York’s 1960s counterculture movement, it’s no surprise Chris inherently possesses an eclectic pallet of influences — all of which come through in his music.
Mardini began playing guitar and drums at age 10. Around his teen years, he started playing in bands around the New York Tri-state area at venues like The Bitter End and Rockwood Music Hall although ultimately decided to embark on a solo career as a songwriter. His first endeavor at songwriting, “I’ll Try”, is a fantastic example of Mardini’s intuition and maturity as a young songwriter; the song masterfully weaves through genres, while maintaining a sound all his own.
The chorus will have you eagerly setting this track to repeat.
Each new release coincides with an equally interesting music video, which is brought up in this ESP episode, discussing the concepts of each of Mardini’s videos and related topics, such as films, directors, actors and production. His latest single, “Pockets”, combines modern hybrid musical stylings juxtaposed visually against a simplistic vintage backdrop, yet the two collectively express the timeless feelings of agitated youth, angst and unrest. From the aesthetically clean “Sleepless” directed by Shantie Midnight to the abstract “Herd”, created by Nick Wolf of Howl Peak Productions, to the animation of Gabriela Sibilska on “Skin Tight”, each visual representation elevates Chris’ songs and further engages his audience.
Though the overall content of his songs often tap into a more serious and visceral realm, they are undeniably residing in a ‘pop’ neighborhood. Punk, indie, alt rock and hip hop all mesh into a style that is Chris Mardini, as well. Unafraid to venture into uncharted waters, express vulnerability and take chances, both in the audio and visual mediums, Chris has left an immediate unapologetic mark as an artist. “I feel like I owe it to myself and to the people listening to be as genuine as possible in my music. Being cheap with the lyrics or writing something that’s just filler is taking the easy way out, so I make sure to put real meaning into every line and melody.”
Currently, Mardini splits his time between college in St. Louis and his home in Manhattan, as he continues to produce new content. Even through the pandemic, some notable shows took place, including a livestreamed concert at the prestigious Brooklyn Bowl and an opening performance for Zedd in St. Louis. Keep an eye out for Chris’s new single, coming soon…
About the podcasters
Skunk is a musician, primarily known as the frontman and guitarist for eclectic heavy-rock band A Good Rogering. Since moving to Austin in 2004, he has recorded and performed with a wide variety of bands and solo artists over a career spanning more than 20 years and has shared the stage with notable acts, such as Skid Row, Marty Friedman, Uli Jon Roth, George Lynch and Metal Church among others. Skunk not only works as a performing musician and recording artist, but also as a producer and music teacher. With two decades of insight into what it means to be a professional musician and a passion for not only music, but comedy and general chatter, Skunk was quick to jump at the opportunity to co-host a podcast with longtime friend, Victor Ramos.
A Texas native, Victor’s early musical influences are a mixture of classic rock albums played by his Vietnam vet father and a whole lot of ‘the Fab Four’ via his Beatles-loving mother. Sprinkle in some classic country and Motown, and you have a man that would say “¿que?” when other Tejanos would ask what his favorite cumbia was. After a stint in the Marines, Victor moved to Austin in 2000 and began working in the tech industry. He met Skunk in a Spanish class in 2005 and the two discovered a shared passion for not only beer, but music. After years of collectively attending concerts and talking music, the idea to start a podcast centering around such topics seemed like a logical endeavor.