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The Internet – Oxford Arts Factory 4/2/16

Written by Luke Bodley on February 6, 2016

I have always been an avid fan of The Internet. So I was super excited to walk in through the homely door of OAF to witness their musical charm and marvel. The night started with Jaala, who fed us their glorious fusion of jangle rock and power-pop. Cosima floated on the stage in her ghostly but tangible way, her voice pulling detritus from the bottom of her heart. Nowhere is this made more apparent than in ‘Hard Hold’ where dark riffage and syncopation combine perfectly with Cosmia’s je ne sais quoi.

Then The Internet started. The Internet were an electric band that painted the stage rich with lush instrumentation. Syd, Matt et al. weaved complicated drum, bass and guitar solos into honeyed vocal landscapes. It really was something special – Syd poured her saccharine voice into the bundled maze of vibrating instruments. They managed to do all this whilst shooting blasts of magnetic soul-energy into the unsuspecting audience.

Syd tha Kyd is a crowd collaborator. As she moved through songs from Ego Death and Feel Good, she always kept the atmosphere participatory. Before she began the meandering homilie to romance, ‘Just Sayin/I Tried’, she had the whole audience blasting the eponymous, “you fucked up”. Everyone shouted and danced in unison. This feeling of collectivism was maintained throughout the night, with all of us harmonising to ‘For the World’ and ‘Under Control’.     

Something has to be said about Syd tha Kyd, who effuses sensuality in this off-centre, understated fashion. Her gangly arms wave hypnotically, her hips shake and her voice whispers. As she moved through the set, she swayed to and fro in her flowing long tee like a street-going aphrodite. She is a marvelous amalgam of the boyish, the urbane and the tender.

This was made super evident during the band’s performance of ‘Girl’. Syd flings her weightless voice over Kaytranada’s sultry underlays of synths and beats, like one would skim a shard of marble across a glass lake. The band’s live instrumentation transforms the bubbling production into something thick with IRL texture. It had me nodding in compliance to Syd’s demands that I “Tell them I’m your girl”. I had been bewitched, her voice whorled like smoke in my mind. Yes, yes Syd, I will be your girl.       

No wonder The Internet’s album Ego Death has been nominated for Best Contemporary R&B album for the Grammy’s. They are exceptional musicians who are bringing back the soul-chill. Get excited to see them destroy at Laneway Festival 2016.

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