Six years ago, music was beginning its trek to where we are today. The landscape of needing a label to maintain a career began to crumble. At the forefront of this movement were the weird and vulgar collective of kids known as Odd Future. Lead by Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, the crew were out to prove that music didn’t have boundaries. They even landed national recognition performing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon not long after many discovered them from Twitter. The Internet, a group in the OF collective, was formed with sultry lead vocals from Syd (aka Syd Tha Kyd) along with members Matt Martians, Patrick Paige II, Christopher Smith and Steve Lacy.
While many know The Internet from their Ego Death album, most people are not familiar with Syd as a solo artist. She has since left OF with Fin being her freshman release. What Syd is able to do with love and heartbreak at such a young age is commendable. This album documents what it’s like to fall in love and shows the stages of a relationship. Records like ‘Shake Em Off’ and ‘Know’ take us through the beginning stages of falling in love. The Hit-Boy produced ‘Shake Em Off’ is a slow tempo song that shows Syd getting over the last relationship she was in and getting ready to move on. We’ve all been in that situation before: the last person you were with broke you down and you had to pick the pieces up and put yourself back together. ‘Know’ has Syd finding a pretty little thing to get herself back in the game. She doesn’t care that this girl has someone else, as Syd and producer Nick Green channel vintage Aaliyah and Timbaland with this head bobbing record.
Through the ups and downs of the relationship Syd doesn’t venture far from her vocal range. You won’t hear her belting any ballads on Fin as she stays in her lane and takes us on a trip to the pop side of things. These songs are catchy and laid back enough that you can throw this album on and relax or even clean the house. ‘All About Me’ shows the selfish side of Syd with its trance inducing synths as she sings, “I pray for all my homies, I’m lyin’ at least I try/I say that she’s my only but got you on my mind”. At this point in the album we begin to hear Syd question herself on if she’s really falling for this person. She battles through her thoughts and tries to make things work over the course of the next few songs. ‘Drown In It’ and ‘Body’ serve as the climax of the album, the former existing as foreplay before Syd takes her lover to the bedroom on the latter to share a night of love making.
Every relationship doesn’t end up being a smooth ride and this is where the last third of the album comes into play. Syd takes a trip to the strip club on the uptempo ‘Dollar Bills’ and ponders if she’s really in love. Her conclusion is that she’s not and has guest 6lack help talk through her emotions on ‘Over’ before noting that her ‘Insecurities’ are to blame for why she can’t find happiness. There’s hope yet for Syd the lover as she sees the happiness she deserves though it’s not with this person she’s singing to on Fin.
Debut albums in this generation have been used to introduce us to an artist as opposed to giving us stellar projects. Most artists will not build traction this early, leaving them to not becoming a recognized name until their second and sometimes third album. Fin is an incredible body of work that has the ability to lift your spirit with its eclectic production or can take you on a journey that may resemble something you have gone through in the past. Syd is nowhere near the end of her career and Fin is just the beginning.
Repeatable: ‘Know’, ‘Got Her Own’, ‘Body’, ‘Over’
By Joe Coad