Christina Martin shares on new single, “In Control”

Canadian Songsmith Christina Martin Drops Blistering New Single, “In Control”

East Coast songsmith, Christina Martin returns with “In Control“, the second single to be released from her upcoming eighth studio album, Storm.

After the ethereal sweep of the opening single, “Stay With Me,” the second salvo “In Control” is a pounding percussion-led odyssey about the battle between the need to feel in control, and the need to just let loose.

Dealing grace and grit with equal aplomb, it’s a fitting follow-up.

“This song is about wanting to return to a feeling of being in control, but only after letting go and experiencing some of the human vices that lead to temporary pleasure. I’m pretty well-practiced at living a routine, discipline, and healthy life, but I’m still a mess a lot of the time, and turn to my sources for help getting back to the sense of feeling in control.” 

Like all the best sequels, “In Control” is a darker, duskier beast than its predecessor. Grappling with the all-too-common clash between the desire for control over one’s life and the temptation to throw caution to the wind, it finds Martin doing what she does best: taking the deeply raw and personal, making it something instantly relatable, and firing it off in a sonic barrage that grabs you by the scruff and won’t let go.

With clunking drums and broiling guitars swirling like whirlpools beneath, Martin’s restless vocals glide delicately over it all. Tackling hefty themes, “In Control” is very much a song of two emotions, split egos crashing against the edges of the record. Order and chaos slugging it out to that brawny, arena-inflected drumbeat. The verses march relentlessly, whipped along by a crunchy rock guitar with the ghostly, echo-lathered backing vocals sending a spear of anxiety right through the middle. Yet occasionally the song breaks fleetingly into major key, like a whale breaking the surface, unashamedly hopeful with soaring Bowie-tinged synths. Neither part sticks around for too long either — the whole affair is a gripping musical tug of war.

The majority of the track was recorded in the century-old Capitol Theatre, an Art Deco antique in Oxford, Nova Scotia not a stone’s throw from Martin’s home. With those growling lead guitars, bass, and pounding drums laid as the bedrock, the track also features all manner of sonic delights from synths, stomps, claps, clangs, and cowbells all drizzled on top. Raw and resolute, “In Control” is a thoughtful, hypnotic outing for Martin with a real emotional undertow. An anxious, urgent march that packs all the punch of a thundercrack.

“In Control” also has an accompanying music video — the second collaboration with acclaimed director Brendan Henry. Henry delivers an epic, cinematic musing on the industry’s need for artists to (metaphorically and literally) break themselves for their art. The video features a giant custom-designed statue of Martin, broken and falling to earth, and all the colossal pieces needing to be gathered from around the globe. Icaran, fable-like, and with a wide scope worthy of such a pounding track, it’s a suitable companion to the single.

Christina works with an expert consultant, Sensory Friendly Solutions, on finding ways to make her in-person and online events more accessible, inclusive, and sensory-friendly. The official music video launch of “In Control,” featured custom closed captions added to YouTube and Facebook, and the audio-described version of the music video was also released.

Check out both versions of the video below, and find out more about Christina Martin via our mini-interview.

Care to introduce yourself to our readers?

Howdy Canadian Beats fans. I’m a singer-songwriter based in Atlantic Canada. You can find all my music, bio, videos, and my new podcast A Chat with Heart on my website.

What was it like growing up on the east coast?

What was it like growing up on the East Coast? I mean, we live in a beautiful part of the world. I left the East Coast for a period of time in my early 20s to figure shit out, but I ended up coming back, so there was something that drew me back. Everyone has a story, and my complicated history and stories are sprinkled throughout my song catalogue. I’m lucky to have found great role models and friends in all the places I’ve lived -from Atlantic Canada to Austin, TX, across the ocean to Germany, and then back again.

Tell me about the idea of doing Control as an audio-described music video? What drew you to it?

I’ve started to work with partners to produce audio-described versions of my latest music videos because it opens up my music, and the art form of music videos, to people who are partially sighted and blind. It’s just one step to reducing barriers to accessing my art, and hopefully connecting with more people.

Who was the first music artist to knock you sideways?

I’d have to say, Tina Turner. My father took me to see her live in Montreal in the 90s. I left the concert wanting to be in a rock band someday.

You get to see one Canadian artist, anytime, anyplace, in concert – who would it be and why?

Arcade Fire would be a trip. Anywhere, anytime, I don’t care where.

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