Produced by Harper James (Eighty Ninety, Middle Youth), the self-written single features Peyton's soulful and heartfelt vocals alongside an upbeat, energized vibe and memorable hooks that will etch this powerful, melodic earworm into your musical subconscious.
Peyton explains, "I wrote 'No Control' about the anxiety I've struggled with since I was a kid. Whenever I'm in situations where I don't have control over the outcome, or I'm trying to make a big decision, I can sometimes overthink and worry to the extreme." He adds, "It's frustrating and makes things harder than they need to be, and it can sometimes feel like an endless cycle, so I wrote this song to vent about it."
Before independently recording and releasing his self-titled debut EP in 2017, Peyton got his start in music by posting cover videos on YouTube where he amassed a following of 13,000+ subscribers. He has received acclaim from major artists like OneRepublic, Shakira, James Bay, Gavin DeGraw and Kelly Clarkson, who personally selected Peyton to perform on her Piece By Piece tour.
Whether he's giving soft, vulnerable confessionals or an energy-charged banger, the humanity in McMahon's music is sure to resonate. "I want people to feel a sense of humanity and relatability when listening to my music. I want them to feel less alone in what they’re going through, whether it's a tough moment or a brighter one," he says.
SoundThread caught up with Peyton to pose a few questions about the making of the "No Control," his musical influences and upcoming plans for releasing more new music.
Can you tell us how "No Control" musically evolved from original demo from two-and-a-half years ago to its current version?
[PM]: When I was first writing it, it had a bit more of a slower/stripped down vibe in my head. But then I thought it would be cool to give it more up-tempo energy, so I reached out to Harper James and sent him an acoustic voice memo of what I was thinking, and we started building the track together remotely (we were still in Covid times).
Are there any artists or individuals that inspired you to become a singer-songwriter or that shaped your musical style?
[PM]: A good handful... Jeff Buckley is a huge one, the emotional quality of his voice especially. As a kid I grew up listening to artists like Matchbox 20, John Mayer and Lenny Kravitz, and a bunch of Pop music as well. I've also definitely been influenced by powerful vocalists like Gavin DeGraw, and Taylor Swift has always inspired me as a songwriter.
Those are a handful of the early ones, but I'm constantly picking up new influences, so artists like The 1975, James Bay, Dermot Kennedy, Frank Ocean and Sam Fender have been huge for me. I also love Mikky Ekko and Omar Apollo, because they’re such great examples of showcasing so much versatility in their music that still somehow sounds cohesive. I get a lot of inspiration from modern acts because it shows me the world I want to be in, in real time.
What can your listeners and fans expect on the near horizon?
Just that there's a lot more music coming this year! Stay tuned for an alternate/stripped version of "No Control" coming soon too.
Thanks to Peyton for providing the insightful responses!
While we await more new music from Peyton, check out his self-made "arts & crafts" lyric video for "No Control" and learn to sing along! Also be sure to visit Peyton's Instagram account where he regularly records and uploads some ad hoc, knock-your-socks-off acoustic and vocal performances.