About ten years ago, young Sydney Bennett had a music studio inside of her home. This studio was used to record and produce her own work, as well as the early work of a collective of weirdo LA musicians known as Odd Future. Bennett, then known as Syd tha Kyd, eventually became the singer-songwriter for the sub-group within Odd Future known as The Internet, an alternative R&B group led by Syd and Matt Martians.
Fast forward to 2017. Odd Future’s mere existence is questionable, with most key members having abandoned the donut-logoed crew that gave them fame (Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Frank Ocean, The Internet). Their departures have been bittersweet rather than sad; it has been an absolute treat witnessing so much maturity unfold through these artist’s solo careers. As a result, The Internet gained momentum, created multiple hits (such as Get Away and Girl featuring Kaytranada), and was even nominated for a Grammy. And most recently, Syd (no longer a Kyd) has dropped her first solo pursuit, Fin.
The early 00s-inspired album is actually much less alternative and more pop than one might expect, but this is certainly not a complaint. Most tracks have slow, mellow synths and beats. While some tracks such as “Know” and “Over” could find success being played at a nightclub, most of the tracks are more for a night in with a bubble bath and a joint. This is not to say the music is vapid. The album features high quality production from Syd herself, as well as others. Bennett produces three songs, the most noteworthy of which (production-wise) is “Smile More”. As she gently sings “Turn these lights off/ On second thought, leave them on”, a modified low-pitch, trappy voice says that “You can leave them on/ You can, you can leave them on”. The low pitch compliments Syd’s high-pitched, smooth voice perfectly. Syd’s production skills on the album are indistinguishable from other Fin contributors with much greater production fame, such as Rahki and Hit-Boy (producer of “Clique” and “N*ggas in Paris”).
The lyricism as a whole is strong, while never overly ambitious or pretentious. Syd’s writing does not aim for any groundbreaking new territory. She mostly sticks to what she knows, but damn, does it sound absurdly confident. The lyrics mostly fall into the categories of boastful or sensual. The extremes of these two adjectives can be found in the short interlude songs “No Complaints”, Syd’s most aggressive rap track, and “Drown In It”, a sexually attention-grabbing piece (“Tonight I’m gonna/ Swim in it/ Dive in it/ Drown in it/ Hide in it, babe/ Live in it/ Die in it/ Ride in it/ Inside of it, babe”). It serves as a great segue for the passionate single “Body”, which has an equally erotic tone. She raps “N*ggas think they ballin’ but I’m waiting on the new stats/ I would you tell you that I am the greatest but you knew that” on “No Complaints”.
In short, Fin is a quick and mostly relaxed trip into the psyche of Syd Bennett. She has gained maturity as an independent artist, as will other members of The Internet, but they have no intentions of staying apart. They plan on collaborating again in the future. Syd makes mention several times in the album of keeping her family and close ones nearby. 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”. She says this in a song titled “All about Me”. If the song truly is all about her, then she clearly considers her close ones a large part of her. At only 24 years old, it will be exciting to see how she continues to develop independently, and along her collaborators.