Press play on Motion Cntrl’s new EP Envision and you’ll hear an array of sounds; svelte synths, intergalactic club beats, and lofty vocals all spiral effortlessly through the four tracks. But what really radiates out from the Los Angeles-based duo’s record is the message “I was born this way,” which comes across without the group ever uttering the phrase.
“As Motion Cntrl, we thought a lot about how to incorporate our beliefs into the music by sharing vocal duties on songs and trying to craft narratives that explore the dynamics of relationships without falling into binary stereotypes,” says lead singer Allyce Engelson. “On Envision, we wanted to make music that could combat society’s tendency to exclude and reject others based on appearance, belief, and identity. You can see that same idea in our fashion, as well. Beauty is ever present in all things, but is most potent when expressed by a free uninhibited personality. Fashion, just like music, can be an external expression of internal peace, or lack there of. And both can be beautiful.”
Envision, released today (December 1), was recorded by Engelson and musical partner Luke Mertz in a backyard studio of Echo Park, later taking it to the Sound Factory in Los Angeles and mastering in New York City with help from friend Brendon Morawski.
“Envision is an optimistic exploration of the unknown,” Engelson explains. “We’ve used the human experience as a lens through which we can try and understand the mysteries of the universe. These songs are meant to inspire courage and hope where there is fear and uncertainty.”
While the group’s influences range from throwback pop to early r&b Envision represents a leap towards spacier sounds, but Motion Cntrl have plans to release another EP in quick succession.
“This EP, Envision, is a step out of our comfort zone,” Engelson adds. “It’s the first time working with a collaborator/co-producer. It’s was a needed learning experience for us and a fun experiment. Our next EP is a return to the styles that motivated us in the first place, 80’s pop, 90’s R&B and UK electronica.”
Grab a taste of the group’s voyage into the electronic stratosphere below.