Although it may not be a conventional choice for IDIOTEQ, The Day My Father Died, the new album from SYML, the solo project of singer, songwriter and producer Brian Fennell, is still worth considering. Recorded and produced in Fennell’s hometown with fellow Seattle-native Phil Ek (Band of Horses, Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes), the 15-track record is a story of interpersonal connection and chosen kinship following the death of Fennell’s adoptive father in 2021. A sweeping document of growth and healing, the album doesn’t dwell on trauma as much as it charts his journey to figure out how to move forward.
In celebration of the new album, SYML will be in the U.K. for a run of select in-store performances, followed by an international tour this spring.
Most recently, SYML shared the official music video for previously-released single “Believer.”
Alongside “Believer,” The Day My Father Died features his latest, “Chariot,” “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.
Most recently, SYML performed four songs live on KEXP ahead of the album—watch/share the full session here. Later this spring, 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 Amsterdam, Milan, Barcelona, Paris, London and more. Ahead of the tour, SYML will be in the U.K. for a run of select in-store performances to celebrate the new album—see full details below.
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.
Catch SYML live at the following dates:
February 3—Kingston, U.K.—Banquet Records
February 4—Liverpool, U.K.—Jacaranda
February 5—Edinburgh, U.K.—Assai
March 9—Amsterdam, Netherlands—Paradiso
March 10—Cologne, Germany—Bürgerhaus Stollwerck
March 11—Antwerp, Belgium—De Roma
March 13—Milan, Italy—Circolo Magnolia
March 14—Zürich, Switzerland—Kaufleuten Festaal
March 15—Munich, Germany—Ampere
March 17—Vienna, Austria—Porgy & Bess
March 18—Warsaw, Poland—Praga Centrum
March 19—Berlin, Germany—Heimathafen Neukölln
March 20—Hamburg, Germany—Uebel & Gefaehrlich
April 15—Madrid, Spain—Independence Club
April 16—Barcelona, Spain—Razzmatazz Room 2
April 18—Paris, France—Le Trabendo
April 19—London, U.K.—KOKO
April 20—Bristol, U.K.—Thekla
April 22—Manchester, U.K.—Manchester Academy 3
April 23—Glasgow, U.K.—King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
April 25—Dublin, Ireland—The National Concert Hal