Syd Fin Columbia
As the former DJ and engineer of Odd Future and co-leader of The Internet, Syd’s debut solo album was always going to attract curiosity. While the media circled around the Odd Future controversy during the first half of the decade, Syd came across as notably laidback and unconcerned about the limelight. But Fin is a successful presentation of the LA artist in her insecurities, her sexuality and her aspirations, and it sees her compelling identity as a solo artist shine.
One should not be fooled by the seemingly sweet and gentle range of Syd’s voice. Fin, like much of The Internet’s neo-soul orientated material, serves to provide us with a soundtrack befitting of both good and – more notably – bad behaviour. The record is impressive in its ability to construct a cohesive space within which Syd’s softness fuses with a significant darkness – “If I go to hell I hope my bitches get to visit,” she purrs on Nothin to Somethin. The lack of apology, at a time like this, in a body like hers, must be seen as a political act in itself – a powerful dismissal is made on the first track to “shake em off/ there’s nothing you can tell me/ I’m grown”.
Musically, Fin is an album of cool, silky RnB beats, soft yet-commanding-vocals and trap embellishments. Over (featuring the fast-rising Atlanta singer 6lack) and Dollar Bills are decadent in their sound: party tunes adopting what could be perceived as a typically masculine tone, through braggadocio and emotional detachment. However, Syd performs this shift knowingly, revealing on Dollar Bills: “I’m feeling like a man/ and she’s dancing like she knows I am”. Got Her Own, on the other hand, addresses the mystique and curiosity surrounding the modern independent woman, who “was a dreamer, but she’s sleeping all alone.”
Fin is short and sweet. And over the course of its 37 minutes, the music blankets you in a comforting haze for enough time to keep your senses stimulated. In typically casual fashion, Syd has described the project as an ‘in-between thing’. But to ignore the thrilling potential here would be a huge error on both her part and ours.