California native and singer-songwriter, Syd returns with her sophomore project, Broken Hearts Club. Widely known as the lead vocalist for the alternative R&B band, The Internet — she is a force to be reckoned with in the neo-soul realm of music. In contrast to Fin, her previous album released in 2017, this LP is by far more captivating. Sparse harmonies and moody synths complement her journey from being utterly enamored with her lover to wallowing in heartache.
Broken Hearts Club is defined by a collection of short and sweet jams. Or at least that’s what it feels like! “Fast Car” is an immediate favorite, as a muffled electric guitar creates a chill vibe among groovy drums. Dynamic on all fronts, she executes beautiful adlibs and unexpectedly concludes it with celestial piano chords. Most of the tracks hover around three minutes, but they still left me wanting more. Such as “No Way” (“Can’t even lie, you’re the truth”) with its bewitching chorus, pitched-down and insatiable to the ear.
Despite Syd’s delicate and breathy tone, her delivery never lacks subtlety. Throughout all thirteen tracks, her voice remains just as confident as it is mellow. You can hear it in the way she exudes sensuality and bold optimism in her relationships, often proclaiming her love in the most forthright of ways.
In “Tie The Knot,” the steady synth is louder than her vocals while she gushes, “I can’t even lie, you might be the one / I like you a lot.” Even in the closing track “Missing Out,” when romance isn’t exactly going her way, one thing is for sure: she is a catch and she knows it.
Every collaboration on this project adds its own unique flavor. The most impressive one is “Right Track” with Smino. Syd’s voice is like butter and his verse enhances the listening experience: “Conversation fire, like I talk with a cig.”
Also worth noting is her acoustic guitar-driven song with Kehlani on “Out Loud.” Their synergy comes as no surprise since the pair previously worked together on Syd’s 2020 single “Birthday.” Kehlani tends to blend well with everyone they work with, no matter the genre. That being said, Syd is also somewhat of a chameleon within the industry. Her ability to ride every beat with such finesse is evident on this album.
“Goodbye My Love” (“Maybe we’ll see a new dawn, my love”) is one of her more passive songs. Beginning with a gentle piano while bidding farewell to a relationship that has run its course. “BMHWDY” which stands for “Break my heart, why don’t ya?” has a unique static-like quality, almost like it’s replicating the overwhelm that comes with such a blow to the heart.
Skilled at creating slow-burn melodies, Syd’s angel-like disposition delivers marvelous results on Broken Hearts Club. An intimate story and a solid addition to her ever-growing discography.