When this time of year rolls around, there’s always the argument for the “song of the summer”. The song that controls radio waves and playlists for the short, scorching three months of excessive traveling, beaches, barbeques, drugs and sex, until we get to our regularly scheduled lives and the leaves start changing color. But with all that, we never really look for an album that can embody all those feelings. Not as often is there an argument for the album for the summer. With The Internet’s fourth studio release, Hive Mind, is more than a solid contender, if not the winner of the reigning soundtrack for your remaining summer. So grab your sunglasses and suntan lotion because this got the heat.
After a string of solo or collaboration projects from the members, the gang had to come together to bring us something that doesn’t just slap, bounce, or vibe. They came together to give us something that is absolutely groovy baby. Throw this on when you feel like any of the previously mentioned events roll around and you won’t be disappointed in any way. Play it in front of your parents or grandparents. They might think you’re playing something “you know nothing about, young blood”.
On Hive Mind, each song bleeds into the next effortlessly, each track still sounding different in its own way. The band joins forces on the appropriately titled “Come Together”, harmonizing with each other over the simple guitar licks, while bells and flutes are heard faintly in the background. While humming and background vocals might sound ghostly on other projects, here this sound worms itself into the listeners’ ears to hypnotize them into wanting more. The song is the perfect gateway into the hive. Each element working in tandem with the other. A real preamble to the album as a whole – reminiscent of something old, but so new at the same time.
While The Internet have always had a neo-soul sound to them, mixed with elements of modern hip-hop and R&B (thanks partly to the lead vocals from Syd), they had to do something new to grab your ears this time around. What we hear on this project is a fusion of sounds. The band not only uses the strums and beats from their actual instruments to do this, but there is a key distinction of digital/electronic drum beats as well. This creates a symphony of bass, guitar, and riffs that blend with each sound so magically and pleasantly, it’s wonderful.
After the intro, the three singles come in to provide the real summer jams. Song after song, the case for the summer album gets stronger. As the “Roll (Burbank Funk)” enters, you want to keep dancing and shaking as if you’re at a house party in the ‘70s. The only thing that’ll make you stop is the end of the song, because you just wanted it to never end. Actually, scratch the house party. You might just want to go to a roller rink and skate along with a disco ball gleaming the light on you. Never let the loop end. But if you did, you wouldn’t get to the real house party song. “Come Over” plays like you’re at a function and you spot that person you can’t help but fall in love with at first sight.
Song after song, the never ending party doesn’t end until you get to a lyrical differentiation with the second part of “Next Time / Humble Pie”. The fun doesn’t stop, but instead you’re falling deeper into the trance as swirling synths and Syd’s vocals soothe you. The break continues on “It Gets Better (With Time)” – the real standout of the album. Here, they seem to actually be trying to have a double meaning, as opposed to the other songs on the album that on the surface are about love and getting with someone. That adds another layer to the album, almost making sure that the sauce you’re getting lost in isn’t so simple.
But the sauce keeps on and you continue to just swim in afterwards. It’s easy too. The songs aren’t just groovy because of the beats, but its that the beats make up the song more than the vocals at times. There is beauty in letting the instruments do their thing and allowing the music to breathe. The best example being in the, once again appropriately titled, “Beat Goes On”. When the album is finally ending, you can’t help but notice the last few seconds approaching and you make sure the replay button is already activated, because you never want this moment of summer to end.