On the Dial | The Internet
Peep Two Dollar Radio Headquarters' own Nathan McDowell on The Internet:
Hive Mind is the latest studio album by Odd Future collective The Internet. I have been listening to this album almost non-stop since it came out about a week ago, and if you’ve been at Two Dollar Radio Headquarters in the last week there’s a good chance you’ve caught a snippet of it too.
It’s been fun watching Syd grow from an audio engineer for Tyler the Creator to a visionary frontwoman for the tight collection of artists that make up The Internet. This album in particular shows the group working at it’s best as a collaborative unit. They sound like they know each other like the back of their own eyelids. The basslines add an extra layer of drip to Syd’s already oozing soul. The guitar and keyboards (and drums for that matter) are especially nimble on this album. The band definitely has an easy flowing vibe, but the strings never seem superfluous. They’re chill and meandering but still tight. The drums likewise are always on point, right exactly where they need to be even as the album jumps from mood to mood to mood. Come Over (with a hot new video!!), La Di Da, and Hold On are some of my favorite songs to just get lost in the vibe these musicians are throwing down.
As great as everyone sounds together though, Syd is still the standout of this record. In part because she is not just an incredible singer but a true frontwoman. Whereas so much of the charm of the album might come from highly skilled collaboration, all the pieces of the puzzle seem to fit naturally in her hand. All the soul, and frustration, and heartache, and funk, and seduction all just seem like natural extensions of this enigmatic person leading us through this listening experience.
And this album is nothing if not seductive. In the past week this image of Syd as a New Era Sex Symbol has been stuck in my head. Having lush sexy jams with overtly seductive lyrics that also are sensitive, thoughtful and treat the subject of the song like a person and not an object - this shouldn’t be such a novel concept but it feels like it in today’s songwriting culture. This album is proof (if anyone still needed it) that respect, sensitivity, and vulnerability are still sexy. Check out Stay the Night, Next Time, and Hold On for some examples.
When this album isn’t giving you summertime or bedroom anthems, it’s giving you therapy. Like, light some incense, turn off all harsh lights, and turn off your phone type music. “I just hope you know that it gets better with time” Syd sings on my favorite song on the album, with a warm and clear falsetto. (It’s my favorite in no small part to the dope and unexpected feature by Big Rube, but I want to focus on Syd for now). I’m always impressed when a singer has so much control in such a high register, and her delivery really gives this song its emotive power. The fact that the strength in her voice is such a gentle one is really what makes this song what it is. It’s what makes the heartbreak in the lyrics believable, and what makes the hope beyond the heartbreak believable. It’s a tough thing to make lyrics this earnest sound so necessary and urgent, instead of corny and tired. Syd rejects eye rolling on this song not by being especially hip or clever, but by being so earnest - so true, and so necessary that you wouldn’t dare. At it’s best moments, such as in It Gets Better (With Time), this is an album of healing that hits you very much the same as The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill does.Check out the amazing video for Come Over! If you haven’t listened to the album yet, check it out and let us know what you think!