Home Music Music Features

Song You Need to Know: Sym Fera, ‘Little Things’

Mysterious Los Angeles duo release second song that’s heavy on emotion and light on identity

Overexposure and oversharing have been accepted as default settings in the modern era, so any glimmer of cryptic mystery are welcome anomalies. Sym Fera are a new duo that reside in Los Angeles and…. well, that’s about all anyone knows so far. Their social media platforms extol moody aesthetics over identity — think lots of shadows — as the pair recently released their second single “Little Things” after last year’s intriguing opening shot “Darkness Visible” earned justifiable comparisons to James Blake and peak-downer Thom Yorke.

On “Little Things,” one of the year’s best slow burns, the duo inadvertently soundtrack the climax to every drama, crime film or action chase scene, pairing gradual yet heavy piano melodies with Jeff Buckley-conjuring vocals. In the accompanying cryptic clip, the duo juxtapose slow pans on black-and-white frames with quick, frenetic edits. A little girl’s eye contains a single tear. A nervous man points a gun. A man straightens his cufflinks. It’s the love child of Ken Burns and Quentin Tarantino that deftly augments the visceral track.

“‘Little Things’ is about corruption, specifically about how corruption of the individual can lead to corruption of the state and the globe,” the duo tell Rolling Stone. “It matters what kinds of people are granted great power, so the video is a collage of one powerful man’s memories and fantasies as he goes about his morning routine getting dressed. These private mental moments reveal much about who he really is, and yet they are always by definition inaccessible to everyone with which he interacts, and over which he exerts influence.”

Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.