Fans everywhere were devastated when Valencia announced that they’d be going on hiatus, so the level of excitement surrounding frontman Shane Henderson’s newest project was not surprising. However, if you are looking for a rehash of old Valencia songs, Shane Henderson And The Future Perfect's, Control, is not the EP for you. The four songs on the band’s debut EP are gentle and inviting, exhibiting all the songwriting prowess Henderson is known for, but with a profoundly folk rock-inspired sound.
Opening with a quiet acoustic melody, first track “Wasting Time” has the most pronounced folk-rock feel. It’s got a certain twang that’s accentuated by the steady, rolling drumbeat. “Wasting Time” swells as it progresses, with the addition of pitch perfect harmonies and rich horns. Henderson sings of moving on as a relationship slips away and not wanting to be the one to “waste [his] time over it.” This feeling of moving on continues in “I Can Feel A Change.” The track is spacious and moving – the warm, echoing guitars and layered vocals make it upbeat and hopeful. It advises: “If you’re dancing in the darkness/Simply screaming for a change/Know happiness is what you make it/And your love will light the way.”
Things slow down significantly in “Can We Get Away” without ever breaking the EP’s flow. Henderson’s vocals are delicately soft and sweet, pairing perfectly with shimmery cymbals and a twinkling melody. Towards the end of the track there is a brief moment when the instrumentals back down, leaving nothing but the earnest sound of Henderson singing, “If I’m going too fast, let me know/Just say, “Shane, take it slow.” From there it builds back up again, leading into the EP’s title track. The most rock-influenced song of the bunch, “Control” features a faster pace than its predecessors, as well as a fuller presence. “Control” is vibrant and confident. It speaks of closure, of finally being able to accept the things you cannot change and moving on to a better future (“I think a new start is what I need/I’ll grow - and find the road that takes me home”).