Canadian songsmith Christina Martin returns with In Control, the second single from her unreleased eighth studio album Storm. After the ethereal sweep of opening single Stay With Me, second salvo In Control is a pounding percussion-led odyssey, dealing grace and grit with equal aplomb, it’s a fitting follow-up to Stay With Me 

“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, and Martin’s restless vocals gliding 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, 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.  

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 hosted a global Music Video Premiere event on Crowdcast Sunday April, offering a look into the making of her music video with director Brendan Henry, and a Q&A with Christina and co-producer Dale Murray.   Watch back here: