September 29, 2015 by TIMMHOTEP AKU
The Internet is both an anomaly and a sign of the times. No, I'm not talking about the actual Internet you're using to read this text (though that Internet is pretty special, too), I'm talking about the L.A. band featuring founding members Syd The Kid (vocals/production) and Matt Martians (keys/ production), as well as Pat Paige (bass), Jameel Bruner (keys) and Chris Smith (drums).
The band might just be the oddest thing to come from Odd Future, the collective known for its irreverence - and, of course, for making hip-hop. The Internet doesn't stand out from the rest of Odd Future because of any over-the-top antics, but because they make great R&B music. Beautiful, textured, enveloping R&B. Sure, the swagger of hip-hop is apparent in Syd's songwriting and the swing of the beats, but that doesn't mean it's adulterated - theirs is some of the most refreshing neo-soul to come out in years, and it's created by a band whose members were small children or not even born when the subgenre came to be in the mid- to late '90s. That's where the sign-of-the-times part comes in; while some decry the death of musicianship at the hands of samplers, drum machines and computer programs, we need look no further than the L.A. band for evidence to the contrary.
Seeing is believing, so the band stopped by NPR's D.C. offices for a Tiny Desk performance that'll give you a taste of the new Ego Death and a song from 2013's Feel Good. Watch the performance and put your Internet service to good use.
Ego Death is available now.
Producers: Timmhotep Aku, Josh Rogosin, Morgan Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Walker, Julia Reihs, Cameron Robert; photo by Lani Milton/NPR
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