The track follows previous single ‘True,’ released on New Years’ Day and praised in Billboard as “a soothing signal of better days ahead.”
“This is a personal song,” says SYML about ‘Stay Close.’ “My father has been slowly dying of pancreatic cancer for almost two years. It’s certainly about grief, but it’s also about a love so deep, it runs from our first breath until our last. It covers every experience we’ll ever have, and it goes beyond us when we leave this place. It’s almost supernatural but I know it to be real because I can sense it fully.” The track’s accompanying video captures SYML at his most vulnerable, singing alone as he experiences the varied emotions contained within the process of grief.
DIM finds SYML working for the first time with an outside producer, Paul Meany (Twenty One Pilots), with additional mixing support from Joe Visciano (SZA, Earl Sweatshirt). “People like Paul and Joe act as mirrors instead of wrecking balls,” says SYML. “They showed me different angles of my songs and creative process that have ultimately made each better. When you find people like that to collaborate with, it’s a feeling of equal parts excitement and humility.”
That sense of openness runs through the record; the deeply personal ‘Stay Close’ grew from a recording process marked by collaboration. “Usually I would isolate myself while creating a song like this, but it was a moving experience working with an insanely talented group of folks,” says SYML. “Paul Meany brought an amazing heartbeat that gave this song life, Taylor Johnson added this ethereal color, lifting the song into the sky, and Charlotte Lawrence danced above it all with her angelic, touching vocal. All of these people wove their story into the song, and I hope that’s what anyone who hears it does as well.”
Brian Fennell is a self-taught producer, programmer and engineer as well as guitarist, percussionist and classically trained pianist with deep roots in the Pacific Northwest. SYML, Welsh for ‘simple’ and pronounced ‘sim-muhl,’ is Fennell’s solo project after departing from the Seattle indie-rock band Barcelona, which he started shortly after college and toured with for over a decade. He shared his self-titled debut in 2019 and the wordless EP You Knew It Was Me in November 2020.