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The Internet started in an unexpected fashion, which is typically how stars in the music world are born these days. Syd, lead singer and songwriter, used to be the house DJ for Odd Future as the only female member in the large hip-hop collective. After the group came to a halt, we all knew Tyler, the Creator was destined for much more. However, multiple stars came out aside from Tyler. Frank Ocean has become one of R&B’s most beloved figures, Earl Sweatshirt has created his own niche as a monotone, bedroom hip-hop star, and Syd. A musician with a silky smooth voice and intimate, amusing songwriting abilities who started The Internet at just 19 with large ambitions.
The group flew under the radar with their first two albums Purple Naked Ladies and Feel Good. Then in 2015, they released Ego Death, a Grammy nominated album where Syd came into her own as a songwriter, and featured a then 15-year-old Steve Lacy on guitar, who is blossoming into a star now as well, in large part because of the band. Funny how the planets align. The album also featured a handful of special guests, including Tyler, Janelle Monae, KAYTRANADA, and Vic Mensa. Ego Death was the first album they produced with all their current members, and ultimately shot them into the realm of the top R&B figures in the world.
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On their fourth album Hive Mind, The Internet remain soul hungry and supremely intimate. Yet, you can sense the leap in confidence they took between now and their last album. They’re not afraid to base their sound around Syd’s sometimes quiet vocals, and they embrace their lusty, rooted funk approach. Its sounds are still relatively quiet, but it’s crisp and precise, and aimed more toward the mainstream than previous albums.
Each of the group’s members have created their own solo projects, and flourish in doing so. Syd released her debut solo album Fin in 2017, and Steve Lacy has become known for his minimalist productions on his demo record. Despite their successes on their own, it hasn’t hindered their success as a group. Rather, their combined powers transcend their solo limitations, and the chemistry is evident from the get-go.
La Di Da has a jiggy energy that will have you moving your hips once you hit play. It’s followed by Stay the Night, which showcases Syd’s yearning for someone to do just that. The instrumentation paired with the faithful vocals make for the perfect love making song. It’s a perfect example where her vocals blend seamlessly with the instrumentation, sometimes lying in the background. But even then, it adds a necessary element to the song where it would feel incomplete without it. The album’s closer and near seven-minute song Hold On carries a twinkling, dreamy atmosphere. “We can book a flight, wake up in paradise, sun up above us,” she sings. Syd’s lyrics on the entire album are overall very direct and immediately let us know what she desires.
At this point, you know what you’re going to get from The Internet’s music. Silky, subtly funky productions, Syd’s permanently chill voice, and songs that have to do with lust and dreams. Their music isn’t the flashy kind of funk, it chills just outside the limelight and avoids the in your face approach. Which is best for them. You may know what you’re going to get from The Internet, but they’re still young, and their chemistry is vivid. They are also one of just a few groups who don’t let their solo successes interfere with what they can do as a group.
You can stream Hive Mind above.
Junior at Ball State University studying photojournalism. Lover of music, travel, and photography.