We're all craving an indie pop outfit with a searching edge, and that's exactly what we get from Detroit's own JR JR. Headed by Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott, and formerly known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr, the band rebranded in late 2015 and have been on a hot streak since. "Control (Secretly Sorry)" is a product of re-focus and raw talent. "Control" opens with a spiraling vocal display, backed by a frenetic percussion. This song is the audio equivalent of running up the stairs in a panic, throwing up your journal, and letting your anxiety drain onto the page. The page being the searching and washed verses, which come across as a therapy session conducted on a beach bleached by the sun.
There's something to be said about a track that's able to conjure up so many images from vocal delivery alone, but the writing itself is as vivid and abstract. That's not to say this song is inaccessible. Between heady images, we're hit with endearing memories and grounding moments of shared experiences. JR JR are working on the fringes and in the center of the indie pop sound, and it's paying off.
Of the track, Epstein says: "Control was written on November 10th, two days after the election, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit. I woke up late and was driving in our van, which has no radio anymore. Suddenly, the melody and the lyric was in my head: 'careful of who you let control the people that you know, oh, oh, oh.' I raced upstairs to sing it for the guys, and found that they were starting to write a song around a riff that Bryan Pope was playing on guitar.
"Somehow, the song they were playing was the exact same tempo and key as the lyrics and melody that I was singing. It's like we were all writing the song serendipitously in separate locations at the same time. It came fast, and to this day feels like a song that we didn't write, it wrote itself through us."