A Lesson in Cool
Sydney Bennett — aka Syd Tha Kyd — breaks out on her own for her solo debut, Fin. Syd got her start in the alternative hip-hop group, Odd Future, working alongside her brother Travis (aka “Taco”), Frank Ocean, Tyler The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt. This led to the formation of The Internet, a collaboration between Syd and fellow Odd Future member Matt Martians. The Internet’s third album, Ego Death, was critically acclaimed and a nominee for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Syd tiptoes toward a chill, pop sound on Fin, while still leaning heavily on R&B and hip-hop to create a lovely cohesion of versatility.
The lead single, “All About Me,” produced by The Internet band member Steve Lacy, exudes Syd’s swagger as a solo artist, but proves her to be humble through its lyrics. She sings, “take care of the family that you came with / we made it this far and it’s amazing / people drowning all around me / so I keep my squad around me.” Lacy is also featured on “Dollar Bills,”a playful neo-soul pop track about a night in a strip club that he co-produced with Flip. The second single, “Body,” is supported by the production of Beyonce collaborator, Melo-X. Syd’s vocals on the song are airy behind a clean and steady drum-kit beat, producing a sound that is understated and alluring.
Syd murmurs her way through the album’s introduction, “Shake Em Off.” The opening track has a stunted, lagging production by Hit-Boy that holds rhythm to Syd’s woes of being a “young star in the making.” The 24-year-old creates a new twist on ’90s R&B on “Know.” Here, the singer plays with her higher register, giving the song a jovial quality akin to the likes of Aaliyah. “Got Her Own” is the album’s next ear-worm, with a dream-pop coolness that addresses Syd’s crush on an independent woman.
Throughout the album, Syd continues to break barriers and double-dip across genres. The young producer and singer has wiggled her way through the mainstream, presenting a collection of songs that weave in and out of styles in a subtle way — an enviable trait among artists. Syd succeeds in showing her fans a more pop-influenced side of her that the entire music industry can appreciate. Here’s to hoping Fin is not the end of her solo work.