We all just want to fit in, don’t we? Find our tribe, our people, the community where we feel at home, where we feel like we belong. This is something that I’ve always loved about the Philly music community. It’s so diverse, and there are so many different “scenes” you can get into, but you don’t have to choose just one. You can fit in with so many different crowds, and for the most part, the community welcomes everyone. It’s all a part of finding yourself, and it doesn’t mean you have to remain stagnant or choose between genres. Be whoever the fuck you want to be and we will love you for it.
Brian Walker explores this idea with new latest single Where You Fit In under his project, A Day Without Love. Fittingly, it’s a collaboration between himself and an array of talented musicians including Erin Fox (Resilient) on guitar and vocals, Kelsey Cork (Kelsey Cork and the Swigs) on saxophone, Jace Miller (Alright Junior) on bass, Aaron Weis on keys, and Branden King on drums. The whole group recorded the song with Jesse Gimbel before the pandemic hit, and then continued to work on it via dropbox files after the world shut down.
We were able to talk to Brian about his history with Philly music, how the song came together, and what the lyrics meant to him both literally and metaphorically.
1. What is your musical origin story?
I was first exposed to the idea of playing music when watching my Uncle DJ at North Philadelphia block parties as a kid. I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a DJ, but I knew I wanted to play music. Flash forward to the age of 18, I picked up a guitar on my birthday. I had been writing poetry since the age of 11 on a wide variety of topics from using Pokemon as a metaphor, relationships, race, etc. I performed at various open mic circuits and opened up in house venues from the age of 19-24. At 24 I was homeless for 19 days, broke up with a band I was playing in in New York and decided to start A Day Without Love as a recording project. The rest is a history of multiple EPs, singles and full lengths on various topics such as mental illness, wellness, self love, politics and more.
2. What is your history playing music in Philly?
I am a Philadelphia native, my first time trying to play a gig in Philly dates back to 2012 and I did not have such a good experience , the venue was a place called The Tritone. Moving forward I played a variety of open mics, bars, art spaces, houses and galleries to help promote my music and collaborate with community members to organize a wide variety of social initiatives.
3. How did this collaboration come about?
Erin Fox and I met on public broadcast TV (PhillyCam), Fox and I went on a weekender tour in Vermont and decided to write together. After spending a few days of sharing lyrics and chords we wrote a stripped down version of the song. We decided to share the song with our mutual friends Jace Miller, Kelsey Cork, Branden King and Aaron Weiss to put the remaining pieces of the song together. After working it out we worked with Jesse Gimbel a few weeks before the pandemic to record the song. We still had a few parts to record so we communicated via Facebook Group chat and sent parts over dropbox for Jesse to mix the song.
4. Did you draw on any specific moments in your life when writing these lyrics? The metaphorical side of it reminds me of all of the times I’ve met new friends only to realize that we’d been at the same shows or in the same rooms for years leading up to that.
There are a wide variety of moments that come to mind when I wrote this song with Erin. Namely I think about the various transitions I have had in my life, such as going to college and graduate school, having my first 9 to 5 , going on my first date, the experience of making new friends. Where You Fit in is about letting go of the negative biases that prevent you from enjoying the excitement of feeling that you are a part of something.
by: Kristen Levine
album artwork by: Dretime