Daisy Bay (featuring Sweet Alibi)

Today’s post is the second in a special series of nine on Song of the Day for Today. Each post will feature a song from Kieran West’s latest album, Dark Little Ones (2023).

For some of my son Kieran’s musical history, please visit the first post in the series, “Staying Home.”

Today’s track is “Daisy Bay,” an emotive look at loss that Kieran wrote about eight years ago. It’s been wonderful to watch the song develop as an artwork, having heard it many times over the years, played by different musicians at Kieran’s shows. Listening to it in the recorded version is very moving, and the beautiful melodies in vocals by Winnipeg’s Sweet Alibi are a superb addition to a brilliant and poignant piece.

Kieran is a masterful storyteller; sometimes, he tells the story from the perspective of another. Whatever the viewpoint, his stories have a depth and maturity that I’ve noticed in him for a long time.

“Daisy Bay” starts with Kieran’s voice, then a strumming acoustic guitar, and there’s an undercurrent of urgency to it, something like the feeling of anticipatory loss. The drums enter for emphasis (in addition to the solid beat, Dan Burtnick’s work on the kit adds some captivating treatments to the songs), then the backing band and singers come in as Kieran searches for the way through a life-changing loss he suffered when he was just months old.

“Life around here
no it ain’t been the same
and all we can do now
is just pass on your name
feels like a bad dream
lasted 22 years
but when I wake up
you won’t be drying my tears

Scattering the ashes
and I’m picking up all the pieces
trying to find something
that I can believe in
and you know I miss you
and I still long to kiss you
you know that it’s true
I don’t know what to do
and you were so young

We were just kids
falling in love
and when I was with you
I couldn’t get enough
now that you’re gone
heart of the dove
well who’s going to use
these left handed clubs

Sickness came quickly
and it changed everything
and all that I have now
is my will to sing
dead of the winter
now I’m all alone
and all that I need now
is just to be home”

Words and music © 2023 by Kieran West.

Kieran West: lead vocal, acoustic guitar, baritone guitar, rhythm guitar and lead guitar
Matt Filopoulos: bass guitar
Dan Bertnick: drums
Sweet Alibi (Jess Rae Ayre, Amber Nielsen, and Michelle Anderson): additional vocals

Here’s what Kieran says about “Daisy Bay”: “I was born in October of 1992. My (maternal) grandfather at the time was battling cancer. Two months later, the cancer took him from us. That is a lot of grief to be surrounded by at such a young age, and I am a firm believer in the effect these early experiences have on us. By all accounts, the grandfather I lost was a wonderful man. I have often spent late nights wondering if my life would have been different if I had his counsel to guide me through a turbulent youth.

Ultimately, this is a song about love. Love that is stronger than death.

When we began talking about making this record, I knew this song needed something special. That came via the incredible talents of Sweet Alibi. I have looked up to this band and these people for as long as I have known them, and it was one of the great honours of my life that they agreed to sing on this song. As an added touch of full circle-ness, my mother was Jess and Michelle’s junior high band teacher. The night I first heard their voices mixed into the track, I laid on my bed and wept next to (my partner).”

What I take from this song and Kieran’s backstory is that all we have is the present, the place we are in now, and the people we are with at this moment. The song also reminds me of the book, The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief, in which author Francis Weller reminds us that “everything we love, we will lose.” It’s a powerful and necessary reminder to savour love, life, and each moment.

And yes, Kieran’s grandfather was a wonderful man — with a big, caring heart and a natural sense of humour; he was easy to be with.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy the audio from the Kieran West YouTube topic channel:

If you like the song, please give a thumb’s-up to the YouTube video, and please stream or buy to support the artist. (Though one longtime follower of this blog said he’s going to wait until I finish posting all the songs to stream the whole album! How cool.)

With my best wishes,


2 thoughts on “Daisy Bay (featuring Sweet Alibi)

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