Today, I dug into and — rare for me — listened to a whole episode of BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour in one sitting. It was the November 8, 2020 episode, “Hello Matt Berninger” (the frontperson of the band The National is interviewed by Garvey).
Garvey said how much he has always loved today’s track, “Day by Day,” from the album Hotel Juicy Parlour by the band Sizer Barker. The group formed in my ancestral home of Liverpool, England in 1998, was signed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records in 2003, and released the album around the same time. Other than a sparse Wikipedia page, there is not much information available on the internet about the group, which appears to have stopped being active around 2007. Their website is also inactive.
The lack of much documentation on the band extends to lyrics. I transcribed a few memorable ones from today’s song, below. To me, there is an optimism about the piece. It infers some of the serious challenges of life but answers them with messages about what’s important to meet them: writing one’s story; believing everything will be okay (like the COVID-theme window paint in my local Safeway grocery store has said since March); and that there is beauty in the world like the voice of a beloved and it can be seen in a “fragile butterfly.”
“Day by day
I write my book of hours in the setting sun
Day by day
Someone else will tell me all you said’s okay
Day by day
Can I hear your voice coming back to earth like
The fragile butterfly”
(from “Day by Day,” by Carl Brown)
I think the songwriter has made the song from a reflective place, examining his life and holding gratitude about things in it that he may not have felt or seen at the time. At any rate, I really liked the song; the sound of it, the instruments and effects, and the words and overall tone. It’s too bad the band is not together anymore, but I’m glad I’ve heard them.
Most of the YouTube videos of their songs are posted by Maria Alan who, from the photos on her channel, looks very similar to the bass player in the band, listed on the Wikipedia page as Maria Hughes. My guess is it’s the same person.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the audio for the song from Maria Alan’s YouTube channel:
I also found a video of a live performance of it on the same YouTube channel: