The Internet, “Hive Mind”
The first episode of the new season of The Internet’s Beats 1 radio show, in promotion of their fourth album Hive Mind, consistently finds the band’s five members—Syd, Matt Martians, Christopher Smith, Steve Lacy, and Patrick Paige II—cackling into their microphones. The interstellar, neo-soul, psychedelic funk group seem like one big, joyous family.
After releasing 2015’s Ego Death, each member focused on solo projects. They didn’t break up or even really go on hiatus, but took time to develop their own strengths, experiment with other musicians, and probe internal conflicts. They also continued to be completely supportive of one another, and that’s the simple, yet remarkable, secret to The Internet’s success: their friendship.
The aptly titled Hive Mind is a testament to this collaborative and encouraging bond, which, by Paige’s understanding, is “literally five Power Rangers that come together to make the Megazord. The bond is apparent here from the first track, “Come Together” (the chorus repeating, “They gon’ get us to come together”). It solidifies their sound as a newly formed molecule, sharing skills and attributes like electrons in a covalent bond.
With every listen, Hive Mind builds on its maturity and dynamism. Many songs are seemingly two-parters, transforming and mutating into alter-egos. The chill-inducing “It Gets Better (With Time)” feels first like a contemplative walk home in sunsetting twilight, and then a therapy session. On “Next Time/Humble Pie,” Syd is almighty as she descends from another planet, telling off an ungrateful lover. “Aimless dreaming, tell me why you sleeping / It’s yourself you’re cheating in the end,” she sings as the song enters a new synth-laden galaxy. Syd is again heartbroken and backstabbed on “Bravo,” but she is also pissed—and though disappointed in her misplaced trust, she becomes forthright and fierce. The Internet are right beside her while she keeps her head held high, in time with a banging trash-can beat and smirking bass line.
In a press statement, the Internet revealed that their cohesion is intended as a symbol of solidarity. “We realized that we really want to use this album to live by example and promote camaraderie amongst young black people,” Syd said. “We realized that we’re the only band of our kind. And we want to really solidify ourselves as that, as the best.” On Hive Mind, they may have indeed. The Internet prove themselves to be a force of white light, their rainbow colors divided equally and illuminating an innovative path for future generations to walk.