Since 2015, we have asked independent artists to share their favorite memories from their time at SXSW. In just three years, this project has become one of our most popular features thanks to the growing interests of bands and singers from around the world. These memories are from SYML.
The project of Seattle-based Brian Fennell, SYML, which means “simple” in Welsh, has captivated audiences and taste-makers, including ourselves, with his rich and dreamy production mixed with soothing and occasionally anthemic pop-rock approach. He is, to use a cliché, a chameleon, where he can adapt himself to any space, time, or emotion. He is, after all, a father, which changes one’s perception of the world.
Doing SXSW Like A Dad:
This year marks my first SXSW as a proud father. The last time I was here, I had zero kids. Now, I have two. That’s 200% more over the course of 3 years, which is an amazing rate of return. The highlights of the festival for me should all be seen through the filter of being a parent.
For starters, I got to sleep through the night for 3 whole nights. What? You got to see Eminem in a 500 cap room? Cool, I got to wake up at 9 AM instead of 2 AM, 5:30 AM, and 6 AM.
Another highlight: I didn’t drink as much as years past, and I had no plan of seeing any other bands. I’m not super proud of either of these facts, but hey, I am all dad these days. Years ago, we would go to ANY party because we knew there would be an alcohol sponsor handing out free drinks. Now, I pay extra for my micro-brews and whatever band happens to be playing, as my beer is the show I meant to see. Dad. Of course, all of the good shows happen later at night. You know, like 10:30.
There I am at the Mohawk waiting for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to come on stage, just counting backwards from when I knew my alarm was going to go off in the morning. My friends are all excited since they’ve seen them in New Orleans during Mardi Gras or whatever and all I’m thinking about is how the lead sax player is like 82 and still awake (editor’s note: Charlie Gabriel is 85). The show was awesome, but I left early because I had a long walk back to my AirBnB.
Probably the most Dad thing about this year for me was the length of time I was in Austin. I flew in Tuesday night and left on Thursday while normal people come for the whole week. I’m sure there were plenty of dads who endured the week, but I just wanted to get out of town before all of those spring breaking college kids got back to town.
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