SYML - 'SYML'

9/10

The self-titled debut album from Seattle-based artist and producer SYML (aka Brian Fennell) graced us last Friday; the effects of which still linger after multiple spins. His breakout single, ‘Where’s My Love’ accumulated over 300 million streams online and is Certified Gold in the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium and Platinum in Canada. Having discovered his Welsh heritage in his adulthood, Fennell aptly named his alias after the Welsh word for ‘simple’. His artistic intention is just that, paired with self-awareness and sincerity that makes for truly moving music.

However pure in its motivation, SYML’s debut album is not to be underestimated. It is colourful, dynamic, inventive. Where he may have previously been pigeon-holed into the category of generic male singer-songwriter, SYML uses the range of the record’s twelve tracks to rise above this superficially diagnosed constraint. Mostly self-produced (with additional work from Mark Ralph and Chad Copelin) the self-titled full-length delivers intimate folk-inspired moments as effortlessly as it does hauntingly bold electronics.

The restrained melancholy of ‘Bed’ soon erupts with a Bon Iver-esque distorted vocal whilst acoustic ‘Girl’ gently expresses the desire to absorb your loved one’s darkest emotions. Just as you think the record has settled into balladry, ‘WDWGILY’ awakens your senses with bold production and a devastating mantra ‘where did we go? I love you’ that echoes and dances to the accompanying rainfall. A phenomenal body of work from an artist worth all of the hype.

Catch SYML headlining Scala on October 29th.

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