Hive Mind arrives Friday, will it be Grammy-winning material?

It’s been an interesting year for music so far, but still there’s been something missing – the acid alternative R&B sounds provided by a certain 6-person collective. As a whole, The Internet faded out from music for a while after they dropped their third album so each band member could release their own solo projects. Most would take this as a sign of the nearing end of a group, but The Internet has without a doubt shown that this is all apart of their game plan. With solo success they all can be great, but together they’re unstoppable.

Three years later and we’re now awaiting their next group album. The expectations are higher for the band this time around. Their previous release, Ego Death, proved to be a Grammy-nominated album and now they’re left with the task to top their best material to date. While their three-year hiatus left us yearning for new music from them, we hope their absence will be rewarded with another unforgettable album.

The Internet’s brief break as a group allowed all members to explore their own sounds. During their time away, some members of the band gifted us with solid solo projects that blew everyone away. Syd’s debut album Fin was not only her opportunity to show off her skills as a mind-blowing singer, but also that she had the potential to be a successful artist if she ever decided to go solo permanently. This however doesn’t take away from the fact that she’s even better when she’s united with the band. Her tantalizing vocals are what elevates the group from being the typical neo-soul band.

Steve Lacy also proved to see much success from his short solo project Demo. With only 13 minutes to work with, Steve Lacy somehow finessed quite the first impression out of it. Outside of his solo EP, the world has been able to see what else Lacy had to offer outside of The Internet. His notable features on Tyler, the Creator’s album Flower Boy gave him some more buzz as well. At only 20 years old, Steve Lacy has become a well-known contributor in music working as a singer/songwriter, musician, and producer with a real shot at being the future of The Internet.

Matt Martians, the group’s keyboardist, ventured off to find his voice outside of the band as well. Not a fan of being in the spotlight, he returned to his childhood home to create his solo project The Drum Chord Theory. The project didn’t receive as much attention as Syd and Lacy’s projects, but it helped him further develop his sound. Patrick Paige II also just recently released his solo debut project called “Letters of Irrelevance,” a muted record that contrasted the rest of his bandmates. His project took a more gloomy turn, exploring loneliness and sadness. His debut hasn’t done much to make him become a household name, but he always has The Internet to fall back on. Chris Smith, the band’s drummer, also put out a solo project but it just barely touched the ears of anyone.

Now that everyone has explored their individual talents as solo artists, the time has come for them to reconvene as a band to deliver their next studio album. Hive Mind is expected to rise to the occasion and give us that warm groovy sound the band is known for.

In my opinion, their freedom of expression motto for everyone will make the album even stronger. The sounds will be pure and the delivery will be even smoother since they probably had more creativity to work with. In recent interviews they’ve revealed that Ego Death was their one shot to hit it big. In the words of Matt Martians, “We realized that was the one we had to really hit out the park.” Now that they have a Grammy-nominated album on their shelf, they’ve stated that they’re going for a more relaxed and seductive vibe for their fourth album. The question is will it be enough to become another highlight album of the year? We’ll just have to wait until Friday to see.