Barcelona’s Brian Fennell started up SYML and has found a ton of success with the project after some moderate success with Barcelona. He’s got millions of listeners on Spotify and his following grows every single week. He just released his debut album, SYML and it really showcases Fennell’s capabilities as a songwriter and as a producer.
SYML sounds a lot like Lost Boy Crow, but instead of mixing a lot of R&B influences with a strong vocal, synths and production, Fennell uses those traits with folk music. The result is a sound that’s unlike anything that’s out there right now. His vocal – whether he’s singing in the middle ranges or when he starts singing falsetto – is amazing and the overall production of the music is tremendous.
The best parts of SYML are when he’s really using everything he has in his toolbox. The best examples are “Clean Eyes” and “Where’s My Love” – there’s the folk influence, the vocal that spans a big range, some great songwriting, some amazing production, and the songs feel like more of a journey than they do just accompanying music.
Like Barcelona, SYML struggles when it tries too hard. It’s cool when Fennell uses all his talent that he has available to him, it’s not really that cool when he’s got a minute and a half of atmosphere in a song. Gladly, I can say that SYML doesn’t do that too much here, but it does it in a few spots and it’s hard to listen to.
It’s cool when someone like Fennell finds success. Barcelona worked impossibly hard on the road when it was going and to see him having success with SYML after not seeing the recognition he should have seen with Barcelona is good to see. This album feels a little long, and there are some moments that are hard to enjoy, but overall, it’s an interesting body of work that will find an in with plenty of people.