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Forget Her Not: Rediscovering Women in Music- Week 1

At fifteen, I was fully and completely obsessed with the Californian soul/alternative R&B/jazz/funk band The Internet. It is for this reason that I can (attempt to) claim to have known Steve Lacy before everyone else. But alas, he is now a huge music sensation (as he should be, to be fair. I could not gate keep him forever).

But Lacy is not the only great talent to come out of that band. The Internet’s lead vocalist and R&B, Soul and Hip Hop master Syd, AKA Syd tha Kid (short for Sydney Loren Bennett) first started making music at 15. She learnt how to record, engineer, and produce music from home, which also quickly became the hub for the hip hop collective Odd Future. In 2011, she started the band The Internet, who went on to produce four critically acclaimed albums. My personal favourite is groovy, avant-garde and grammy-winning Ego Death (best songs on there: Gabby (feat. Janelle Monáe), Penthouse Cloud, Just Sayin/I Tried, and criminally underrated Palace/Curse, featuring the one and only Tyler the Creator).

Since the band split up (following their fourth studio album, Hive Mind, in 2018) to focus on individual projects, Syd has produced two albums. The first, Fin, is a triumph of romance, soul and sensuality, combining stylistic syncopation with Syd’s trademark pensive, sultry lyricism. Got Her Own playfully subverts gender stereotyping, an ode to an independent, ambitious woman. Here, she characteristically directs lyrics of love and desire to a woman, as usual open, bold and honest in matters of sexuality – “I’m not going to sing about men when I don’t date men – and I’m also not not gonna sing about love” she told The Guardian in 2019, maintaining “I don’t feel like a part of the gay community… I’m the only person like me that I know”. 

Syd’s second album, Broken Hearts Club meditates upon infatuation and heartbreak, slipping between rapture, optimism and insecurity. She handles both sides with delicacy and warmth, yet her honesty still shines through, the opening track CYBAH a “quiet storm”, dreamlike, rhetorically questioning “could you break a heart?” By the end of the album, of course we have our sure answer: Missing Out confirms “it wasn’t always perfect/but now it’s nothing”. 

Syd’s voice spellbinds, her storytelling enchants and intrigues. Fingers crossed for another album soon!

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