The Internet — Roll (Burbank Funk)

Yikes, July up and ran away from me. After a brief, unannounced hiatus (oops, sorry y’all. #nonmonetizedsidehustle), In My Ear is back! And, we’re going to crush it this week with three new posts to make up for the three weeks of lost time.

Starting with….this. f*cking. jam. right. here. and the album release of July for me. Recently, I’ve recommitted to daily recording things for which I am grateful. Little things. Big things. Basic things. Amazing things. Whatever. While I get the premise and accept whatever data exists on the benefits of feelings of gratitude, it’s an ongoing struggle to cultivate the practice and reap those benefits.

I’ll tell you what, though, I am damn grateful for The Internet. And, I sure as hell wrote that down in my journal when their new album Hive Mind dropped on July 20.


With the exception of Erykah Badu, there is no other performer or group who channels 1970s OG funk better or more often for me than The Internet. There is just an instantaneous flow when they kick into a groove, like they do on Roll (Burbank Funk).

But, the sound isn’t just simply a throwback. Nah. The Internet’s music sounds fresh and current, even as it draws so clearly on classic bass-driven, syrupy, rolling funk. It’s also the sound of a really tight band — excellent, independently accomplished musicians in each of their own rights — that sparks magic every time they come together on a record.

This track is money all the way. It starts with a drum beat and hand claps (called to my mind right away De La Soul, People Under the Stairs, and EWF’s various odes to Saturdays), adds in a delicious bass line, a somewhat surprising lead vocal turn from guitarist Steve Lacy, and then settles into 3-ish minutes of throbbing, definitely rolling, but also spacious funk. If you’re not hooked 30 seconds into this, I’m not sure what to say….

[Verse 2]
As you’re coming down
Where’d your heart go?

Star shine so bright
It’s all in your heart
They’re up so high
It’s all in your heart
I wanna fly
Look no further
Let your heart flow

Roll, roll, roll, roll
Roll, roll, roll
Let your heart flow…

The groove stands on it’s own, but tapping into the lyrics added another level for me. Simple and repetitive (and feeling to me like direct, personal encouragement), they are perfectly matched with the music in pace and theme.

After a three year hiatus between albums, I wonder and like to think that these lyrics reflect the headspace for how The Internet came back together and got on track to make this record…and do what they do so expertly and distinctly.

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