Xinxin Channels Anxiety Into Strength With “Control”

TL;DR This articles discusses the emotionally gripping release from Xinxin, “Control.”

(Left To Right) Xixin: Carlos Elias | Jonah Huang | Janize Ablaza | Stephen Reed

There’s no shortage of problems that exist in our world and within ourselves. If there were a band to channel the animosity that this year has brought, “Control” from Xinxin would be the vessel to guide us through and make sense of these daunting times.

What Janize Ablaza (vocals/guitar) and Stephen Reed (drummer) manage to do is set up a theme of melancholy and uneasiness. Additionally, the minor chords strummed on her guitar depict inner turmoil in an eloquent manner. Jonah Huang’s (keys) warm and glowing keyboard play adds a duality to the song reminiscent of the bittersweetness found in Radiohead’s The Bends. To balance the melodic statement made by “Control”, Carlos Elias (bass) nestles himself between the grooves and keeps us emotionally centered.

Throughout the song there’s a contrast between staggered and whole notes being played. I would speculate that this is to sonically simulate anxiety. It’s almost as if we’re between deep breaths and hyperventilation. Congruently, there’s a disjointed nature to “Control” that I believe portrays a human being offbeat or disconnected. This is a testament to Xinxin’s ability to paint vulnerability through their musical arrangements.

(Left To Right) Xinxin: Stephen Reed | Carlos Elias | Janize Ablaza | Jonah Huang

Lyrically this song resonates in the heart in too many spots. With words like “I talked too much / Spit trash advice”, and “I know what’s right / I feel what’s wrong / But I’m still stuck / Laying on my bed.” Too often are people critical of one another in times of despair and hardship. Yet each of us is not without our own failures and faults.

Janize mournfully sings her words with a woeful heart that could easily bring one to tears. She illustrates that we are simultaneously victims and perpetrators of our life. Which begs the question, how much is a person responsible for their own happiness when world disasters and divisions amongst humanity are at its apex? How do we help each other when we’re all searching for the same answers? Janize belts out “Tell me do I have a control” repeatedly at the jazzy and funky climax of the song, giving form to our anxieties in one explosive conclusion.

In summary, “Control” is a gift bestowed upon us from the immensely talented group, Xinxin. This is just a magnificently crafted song by artists that never cease to astonish me with their body of work. I patiently wait for their next release. May their music continue to bring peace, love, and healing.

Their debut album is set to be released on November 28th.



Music Enthusiast covering Southern California’s music scene and beyond. IG: @the_tecolote

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The Tecolote

Music Enthusiast covering Southern California’s music scene and beyond. IG: @the_tecolote