From Odd Future to The Internet, Syd is finally embarking on a solo mission that is so far looking brighter than her future in either of her former groups. Syd is an all-round musician. From producing the beats we cannot help but move to; to crafting lyrics that get us in our feels, to the voice that is soothing in texture yet grips you with every word, it is no surprise she wanted out of a group – she can do it on her own, literally.
Syd (Tha Kyd)’s music career started long before she even finished high school. At the age of fourteen she built herself a home studio in her parents’ home and mastered the art of sound engineering. Since, Syd has been recording and releasing music from the comfort of her bedroom. Now we have arrived at the Fin chapter in her musical career where she is illustrating the development in her various talents.
I took my time to review this album as I really wanted to discuss the tracks that I felt expressed not only her musical journey but her raw talent (plus I really just love the album!). Although in her own words during an interview with Fader, Syd expressed that the album is “not that deep”, listening to it I feel completely different and I am going to share with you why.
Starting with “Shake Em Off”, the first track on the album; I felt that it was the perfect introductory song to the album and to her because of the message she is relaying.
Syd is exclaiming that she is not here for the doubters, “there’s nothing you can tell me I’m grown”. In a controversial time in the world where discrimination has reached a new peak, she has decided to “Shake Em Off” and focus on what makes her happy. From her lifestyle to her style of music, she is embracing it all.
The general sound of the song is smooth, allowing you to get into her lyrics and the vocals that complements them. The ambience of this track sets you up, not just for her sound on this album but as an artist, also.
As the album progresses the songs get jazzy and a little cockier. She talks about her relationship with the women that she loves so much and her ability to make “Nothin To Somethin”, which features as track four on the album.
From the first verse she makes it clear she is focused on her happiness and getting her money, “Ima collect this money for sure”. Whilst in the second verse, “introduce you to the new me, my life’s a movie”, she is signifying a new part of her journey. The verses cemented by the chorus, paint a picture of a Syd that is no longer just the lead vocalist in a band but an artist who can stand on her own two feet.
Nonetheless, although her lyrics are boastful, the beat is very laid-back and chill. A perfect blend of her voice with an emphasis on the simple drum hats has produced a song that is catchy and allows her to be a little bolder on the track. It comes as no surprise, however, as she produced this song herself.
Moreover, at this point in the album it almost feels like we are opening another chapter; as she continues to take us through her transformation. After declaring she is shaking off the doubters and that she is able to make something out of nothing; the album slows down a little more and Syd takes advantage of her breathy vocals.
Syd is not afraid to get sexual as she explores her lover’s body in “Body”. She describes not just a sexual encounter with a female but the sexual elements of a woman’s body in a non-explicit way (which I actually appreciate). The beat has now become the stage for her vocals on this one. Listening to it, I started to reminisce Cassie’s music in the primitive stages of her “career”, except Syd can actually sing.
Produced by Flip and her ex-cohort, Lacy from The Internet; we get a very simple composition that really allows the listener to sensualise their listening experience. It’s almost impossible to not feel some type of way (and believe me I would know, as I have been listening to this song over and over for a week straight, now). The sexy sonnet steers the album in a different direction. Not only do we get a more R&B vibe but a look at a more vulnerable side to Syd.
Her vocals throughout this entire album are the pinnacle to this, Fin compilation. She illustrates on an array of beat arrangements that she can flow, she can sing and make you listen to every word with what almost seems like minimal effort. For an album that she describes as “not that deep” she definitely got me in my feels throughout.
We explore her passion for women; her vulnerability in love, her refusal to internalise stigmas about her identity and her new self-belief in her capabilities as a solo artist. It seems pretty deep to me, even if it is unintentional.
Her talents are definitely a merit to her hard work and consistency. This is not her final form I’d say, rather a taster. Sounds like we are getting some authentic vibes from Syd as a solo artist and I cannot wait to hear what else she has to offer. Syd’s Fin can be streamed on Spotify or bought on iTunes, here.
Words by Ada Boas