Words || Sam Van Vliet
In their fourth studio album, five-piece group The Internet manages to exceed already high expectations from their last hit, Ego Death (2015). Hive Mind exudes their now trademarked chill, sexy vibe with low tempo, groovy beats, and a retro R&B feel. Without even mentioning the smooth lyricism and vocals of lead Syd, this is dead set one of the best sounding albums I have ever heard.
Their latest album was recorded at the tail end of an extended kick of solo work for the members of The Internet. Syd, along with Matt Martians and Steve Lacy, collaborated as part of the hip-hop collective Odd Future, until in 2016 she broke off to record her first solo album, Fin. The group’s newest member, Steve Lacy, was picked up after he helped produce their previous album while still in high school. Since then he has produced for names like J. Cole, Mac Miller, and Kendrick Lamar. Lacy released his first solo EP, Steve Lacy’s Demo, in 2017 at age 19.
Hive Mind is the product of the collective talent and creativity of The Internet’s members, and their individual influences are obvious in each aspect of the album. ‘Look What U Started’ provides an analog for the album as a whole. Lacy’s flair is obvious in the deliberate pairing of a steady drumbeat with his trademark *plaid* musical stylings and delicious bass. Lyrically, the song is a classic testament to the It’s Complicated facebook status, but when paired with Syd’s gorgeous vocals and stylish influence it becomes the kind of thing you’d listen to and tell yourself “they don’t deserve me” (despite your two-month dry spell). The Internet also provide a fresh, positive representation of queer relationships, likely as a result of the collaborative writing between Syd and Steve Lacy. This theme is prominent throughout the album and promotes a normalised perspective on queer representation in the media in general.
The Internet infuses their unique musical talent to synthesise an impressive and refreshing set of tracks, and provide a framework for future works in the genre.