The last time Denton-born indie-folk outfit Seryn came to Dallas, it was April 14, 2019, breaking a nearly three-year hiatus.
“There were things that each of us needed to experience and some independence that we needed to exercise,” says vocalist Trenton Wheeler of the band’s time apart. “That was necessary to realize and be able to come to the point where we could reconvene to an interdependent workflow of really understanding one another’s strengths.”
That evening in April, Seryn got back together for a one-off performance for the Homegrown Festival stage with all 10 members who had ever passed through the band.
There was a promise of new things ahead as the band closed with their seminal hit “We Will All Be Changed,” their harmonies embracing the change from twilight to moonlight, from a defunct band to one with new life and new energy.
While Seryn unearthed two early recordings of their song “Sideways” later in 2019, the future of the band remained uncertain, and all members went quiet on social media. All that changed in November 2020 when the band launched its official Patreon with the promise of a new record on the way.
“It's been a huge lifeline for us, especially the sort of the second half of the pandemic as we've gotten going again,” guitarist Nathan Allen says of fans raising funds for the album. “We really couldn't have achieved anything that we've done recording-wise without them.”
Friday, May 28, fans and patrons alike caught a first glimpse of what is to come when Seryn released their first new song since 2016.
“Figuring Out” starts out quiet, with Wheeler singing lyrics “digging through the hard times we’ve been through” almost at a whisper, with the accompaniment of a simple acoustic guitar.
As the song reaches its chorus, the vocal harmonies that helped define the band’s sound almost a decade ago bolster the refrain, “Be still, you don’t always have to have an answer / Well, I’m figuring out you don’t always have to figure it out,” transforming the song from one person’s journey of self-discovery into one that invites the audience to the same realization.
“There were things that each of us needed to experience and some independence that we needed to exercise ... ” – Seryn vocalist Trenton Wheeler
The song soars after the chorus repeats, making the song’s bridge a transcendent experience of percussion and electric guitar when the listener is asked to “find beauty in the mystery.”
Though it's a new release, “Figuring Out” has existed in the Seryn catalog since before the band’s hiatus.
“I was going through my own kind of existential crisis,” Wheeler says of writing the song. “The lyrics come from my own realization that there are some times when I really don’t have to have an answer.”
Though the song doesn't have any overt political or social commentary, Wheeler and Allen agree that in the current sociopolitical climate there is much that could be said for the benefits of taking a step back instead of asserting one’s own will.
The reason the band decided to polish up this old song was simply that it felt right.
“There's a bigger vision coming, but we can't speak on it yet,” Allen teases. “It’s all very amorphous at this point. It's evolving, but we've already written a bunch of these songs. So we're just, you know, recording them in and making something special out of them.
“The plan is one song per month, starting off with this song. There aren’t specific days. It's usually going to be towards the end of the month, generally Fridays.”
Seryn will also be returning to Dallas for the first time since their performance at Homegrown Festival when the band takes the Kessler stage with a little help from Brave Little Howl on July 23.
“We are super excited about this performance in Dallas,” Wheeler says. “We're excited to get to share the stage with Brave Little Howl and bring that energy.”