Andrea Williams ’21 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
People would never expect to find a song they would eventually fall in love with on a television show, especially on a show like Catfish, but that is exactly how I came across the song ‘Where’s My Love’ by SYML. This song eventually lead me to SYML’s brand-new album called ‘In My Body.’
SYML is an artist named Brian Fennell. Growing up in Seattle, Washington, and having been adopted, Fennell struggled to understand what his identity was and how he fit into society. He describes this inner conflict as a common theme throughout his songwriting, which is very apparent in his latest EP.
Early in his music career, he was a part of a four-person band called Barcelona. However, Fennell had been writing songs that he felt didn’t really fit the Barcelona sound. With the encouragement of his wife, he started recording these songs and eventually came to create SYML. The name meaning “simple” in Welsh, stemming from his newfound Welsh identity.
The album ‘In My Body’ was released on January 12, 2018, and features six songs, including his most famous song ‘Where’s My Love.’ Most of his songs on this album including ‘Body,’ ‘Where’s My Love,’ ‘Wildfire,’ and ‘The War’” feature a slower tempo with lots of guitar, strings, and piano. The song ‘Ghosts,’ however, is completely different. This song is the fourth song on the album and is one of his only songs that has more of an upbeat feel with a faster tempo and a more produced sound. That being compared to his others which have more of an acoustic feel to them.
SYML also added a song to this album called ‘Harvest Moon.’ This song is different than all the rest simply because he didn’t write it. The original song is by Neil Young and made in the early 90’s. However, the original song features guitars, a harmonica, and a banjo guitar. This could not be more different from SYML’s version. The version SYML put onto his album features piano and is much more produced, which also gives it a more of a somber feel than the original.
For multiple different songs, SYML talks about why he wrote them and their meaning. For example, for the song ‘Wildfire,’ SYML explains that it is dedicated to the people that were affected by the wildfires that were along the west coast, and the song ‘The War’ is SYML’s inner emotions that goes on within himself with the two characters of the boy and the masculine angry man. Finally, SYML explains that the song ‘Ghosts’ is about “all of the souls that drift around the online space without finding peace.” The main similarity between all of his songs he explains is the melancholy feel that they share. In other words, any one of his songs would be a good song to put on if you ever feel down in the dumps, or just want a good soundtrack to listen to when you need a good cry.
Even though SYML wrote these songs to talk about the different conflicts that were going on in his life, each song on the album is able to connect with the listener in a different way. This is something that makes this album great because no matter what you are feeling or what you are going through, this album is going to be able to connect to you and that to me is what music is all about.