Sunday, June 25, 2023

Glaive Laments The Struggles of Adulthood in Poignant New Single: ‘all i do is try my best’

Painted as a ‘restless teenage musician’ by the Los Angeles Times, 18-year-old Ash Gutierrez – more commonly known as Glaive – is making his mark by getting real about adolescence, finding your place, and how crippling transitioning into adulthood can be. His floaty new hyper-pop single ‘all i do is try my best’ is the next new homage to just that.

From the first glance, this little tune might not seem like a lot. Less than three minutes long, there’s a lot of angst and spirit to get into that time. However, never underestimate a fiery young lad who started making his music during school Zoom calls during the COVID-19 pandemic.


‘all i do is try my best’ starts off with a soothing electronic, dreamy instrumental with a steady drum pad beat; a soft warbled guitar joining it soon after. A breath of a pause – so natural you might miss it – carries in the first of the mournful lyrics.


“First year that I gotta pay my taxes / When I heard the number I thought ‘bout killing myself” is certainly a strong opening, but this honesty doesn’t hit, it lingers. Glaive’s nonchalance surrounding politics, finances, and figuring out alcohol, juxtaposes his feelings towards compliance, and trying to live a life that means something separates him from his older generations that to a young person, feel like they had more space to work things out. “I’m too busy to be anything else” rings out like a mantra; a half-dejected wish to be something more, but how?


When the chorus rolls around, almost out-of-place upbeat backing vocals carry in the repeated “all I do is try my best”. It makes you wonder what Glaive is seeking out: validation, appreciation, or something deeper for himself. The electronic sounds ebb and flow like waves, and the high is the perfect blend of hopefulness and acceptance that we’ve seen in hyper-pop songs like Beach Weather’s ‘Sex, Drugs, Etc.’


If the outro’s drum beat was any stronger, it would’ve been a war cry, but the gentle thrum of “all I do is try my best” towards the end of the song begins to feel like a heartbeat before it sharply cuts off. Before you catch your breath and have to scramble to make sure your Spotify doesn’t shuffle to a song of the wrong mood, Glaive’s finality feels bigger than the dispiritedness from the beginning of the song. You can’t make the world around you any kinder, but that might be okay.

Glaive’s debut album ‘i care so much that i don’t care at all’ is out on July 14th.


Sasha Semjonova

Image: ‘all i do is try my best’ Official Single Cover

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