June 24th, 2022 (Nashville, TN): Songwriter Sara Syms releases reflective single and video for project "Unknown Road." The single is available now on all digital streaming platforms.
This latest track from Sara Syms, “Unknown Road,” brings those haunting vocals and almost outlaw-esque guitar progressions fans have come to expect from much of her work. A steady and constant drum backing is joined with those guitars and hints of organ and other trappings to create a unique and chilling auditory experience. There’s an ear-catching effect layered on Syms' voice in some parts of the track that makes it sound as though it’s coming through an old radio; this definitely adds to the track’s ambiance, making it sound older than it actually is, creating the folky ambience that we know and love from Sara Syms. Syms brings us on a sonic and visual journey, tying the single and music video perfectly. The video visualizes all of the places Sara is describing on this "unknown road," taking us right alongside her as she tells the story. When Syms sings “I’m here/I’m there/I’m everywhere” she truly means it as her vocals in this track surround you. They are quiet and gentle, but possess a silkiness that tiptoes against your skin. The chill electric guitar that carries the track transports you somewhere else entirely.
For Syms, the compositions on her upcoming album The Darkest Light are an echo of her past as well as a step forward. Before becoming a solo artist and recording her Americana-themed Way Back Home and 2013’s Fade To Blue (the latter was nominated for the International Music and Entertainment Awards’ Americana Album of the Year), she fronted the Key Party and Dirty Water — bands that explored the many facets of her river-deep singing, which possesses the flexibility and emotive power of a reed instrument, as well as the allusive qualities of ambient and textural music.
But in the wake of Way Back Home, Syms began to address larger questions about her music and herself. She no longer felt the desire to write for genre—rather than from the heart—and began to find the music business constricting. At the same time, and perhaps in consort, she felt a need to rediscover and reconnect with her own authenticity and identity, and to face her longtime struggle with depression.
“Soon I was writing new songs that felt like I was arriving at an understanding of truths about the world and myself,” she says. Numbers like the title track, “Fear and Love” and “The River of Life,” which are revealing and honest, unsparing and sharing the verities of living, began to arrive. With a renewed sense of purpose and of self, Syms pushed outside of her comfort zones, recalibrating the sound and focus of her music to create The Darkest Light.
In essence, that sound — full of freedom and challenge and discovery, buoyed by Syms’ conjurative writing and magical performances, and adventurous, eclectic sonic terrain — tells a story in The Darkest Light about not only what it means to truly discover one’s self, but what it means to be human.
Her last single "Where Do I Belong" was released in May of this year, and her album The Darkest Light will be available in August of 2022.