Every good pop song has an emotional core, but every once in a while a track comes along that stings a little harder than the average studio cut does. This can definitely be said for Mattia Pironti’s “Don’t Stand a Chance,” a vocal-driven power ballad with a bustling beat that doesn’t back down for anything, and it should come as no surprise that it’s winning Pironti a lot of new fans on both sides of the Canadian border this November. If you were hoping for some quality pop music to wrap up 2019 with, you needn’t look any further than this fantastic single and the gold-standard songwriter responsible for its creation.
You can tell that Pironti’s got a natural talent for music when listening to “Don’t Stand a Chance,” and there’s no denying that his education from the Berklee College of Music has served him well as a composer. What’s even more than that is his confidence; the swagger that he brings with him into the studio for this track is fiery but never verges on a toxic arrogance, and if you had told me that he was a veteran player, I probably would have believed you after hearing this single.
It can be said that “Don’t Stand a Chance” has a pretty conventional structure, but there’s absolutely nothing conventional about its chorus. The timing between the instruments and Pironti’s verse is a little out of sync, but this discord breeds a new and exciting tension that he’ll spend the duration of the song chipping away at with his pleading verses. It’s experimental for the genre, but not so much that occasional pop fans would be repelled from falling in love with the cutting hook all of this melodic ribbonry is so tightly wrapped around.
I think it would be really interesting to see how Pironti approaches this number live in concert. He could take it in a softer, more piano-focused direction and apply all of the balladic elements in the track towards a heart-melting performance, or he could just as easily max out the backing band’s instrumental prowess and turn the chorus into a stadium-shaking eruption of emotion, harmony and rhythmic drum-pummeling. It would be thrilling to hear it in either case, and I’m intrigued by what other dualities Pironti’s soon to be released debut album, Mirror, is going to contain beyond those in this first single.
To be truthful, I don’t usually go for this variety of pop music, but when I come across a singer who is as gifted and stage-ready as Mattia Pironti is, it’s difficult for me to resist the work – and the work he’s turned in here is a homerun. He’s got a lot of critics and fans still to impress if he’s going to make it in the cutthroat talent pool that the late 2010s have produced in Canada and abroad, but with this present attitude and a lot more harmonies as rich as the ones we hear in “Don’t Stand a Chance,” Pironti is going to find plenty of professional triumphs in the future.