SYML

Monqui Presents

SYML

Valen

Fri, March 9

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Old Church

Portland, OR

$13.00 - $15.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

SYML
SYML
Brian Fennell is a student of simplicity. As SYML (pronounced “simmel”), which translates to “simple” in Welsh, Fennell writes emotive ambient pop songs that capture the ethos of his musical persona. With delicate piano, swells of strings and Fennell’s sterling vocals, the songs that comprise his debut EPs “Hurt for Me” and “In My Body,” out January 2018, embody the relinquishing of all emotions, a cathartic release laid bare.

“The name meaning simple was the cornerstone of what I wanted in these songs,” Fennell says. “Keep it simple because you can’t hide behind things as well when it is stripped back and when it is naked and raw.”

The project’s origins stem from a pair of songs Fennell had written years prior, borne out of the resulting introspection from navigating a healthy and supportive relationship with his now-wife. Over a heaving string orchestration and harrowing piano on “Where’s My Love,” Fennell looks outward at a romantic partner and wishing for their emotional wellness for the sake of the relationship; on “The War,” a stark track with thundering percussion, a battle is waged between the boy and adult man living inside himself. Fennell shared these tracks with a friend who helped land “Where’s My Love” in an episode the MTV drama “Teen Wolf” in 2016, thus thrusting Fennell into the spotlight. So he wrote more songs, self-recording and producing in his home just outside of Seattle.

A child of a closed adoption, Fennell discovered his Welsh roots as an adult and utilizes his heritage in his music in the project’s name and as a filter through which he views the world, though it’s ultimately the juxtaposition between his own happiness and the content of his music that is most resounding.

“I describe my music as generally being pretty sad or dark but the reality of where that comes from is a general mystery that exists behind my history as a person,” Fennell says.

On the “Hurt for Me” and “In My Body” EPs, Fennell examines the will of a person that exists after hurt and loss, the humanity in the thoughts and feelings we all possess when we close our eyes each night. He reckons with internal struggles in “Body,”: “I’ve become the only thing I hate,” he sings; a plea for a lover’s own self-acceptance on “Wildfire”: “You’re not a curse, you’re not too much / you are needed here, you are enough / nothing’s going to hold you down for long.”