Today, SYML—the solo project of singer, songwriter and producer Brian Fennell—debuts a new song, ‘Believer’—listen here. The track is taken from SYML’s forthcoming album, The Day My Father Died, set for release February 3 on Nettwerk/V2 Records—pre-save here.
“To be a believer in something is as pure as it gets,” says Fennell. “For me, it’s when I realized it was never a god or magical ghost, but my lover and how I fell at her feet.”
Ahead of the new album, SYML performed four songs live on KEXP—watch/share the full session here.
In addition to ‘Believer’, The Day My Father Died features ‘Better Part of Me’ featuring Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek, I’m With her), ‘Howling’ featuring Lucius, ‘Lost Myself’ featuring Elbow’s Guy Garvey, ‘You and I’ featuring Charlotte Lawrence and ‘Sweet Home’. Recorded and produced in Fennell’s hometown with fellow Seattle-native Phil Ek (Band of Horses, Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes), the new LP is his first album to feature a full band. In addition, SYML will feature on Lana Del Rey’s forthcoming Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Boulevard.
Furthermore, SYML will embark on an international tour this spring, headlining venues across Europe. The dates will bring him to Paradiso Amsterdam on March 9.
The Day My Father Died finds Fennell telling a story of interpersonal connection and chosen kinship following the death of his adoptive father in 2021. More a document of growth and healing than of loss, the album charts Fennell’s journey to figure out how to move forward after a fundamental and intractable shift in his life.
“The ever-expanding universe will always frighten and delight me, but the truly unbelievable shit happens down here at our human level,” Fennell says. “Losing my dad felt like running out of air. I still feel it in my gut. But this record is not about losing him, it’s about what happens after we have lost.”
With over one billion lifetime streams, SYML—Welsh for “simple”—makes music that taps into the instincts that drive us to places of sanctuary, whether that be a place or a person. Born and raised in Seattle, Fennell studied piano and became a self-taught producer, programmer, and guitarist. He released his self-titled debut album in 2019, which included the platinum-selling song ‘Where’s My Love’, followed by the grief-stricken EP DIM released in 2021. After supporting Dermot Kennedy on his most recent U.S. tour in late 2021, SYML embarked on an extensive headline tour of his live album Sacred Spaces, performing in beautiful churches around the world. The tour saw him perform across North America and Europe, including sold out nights in London, Paris, and Amsterdam as well as three dates at L.A.’s Masonic Lodge and Montreal’s Corona Theater. The tour ended with a very special hometown show at Seattle’s St. Mark’s Cathedral, bringing SYML back to where the project began. His music has been featured in countless movies, TV series and ad campaigns including Netflix’s original series “Behind Her Eyes,” which featured his version of ‘Mr. Sandman’ as the title track.