A Day Without Love – Tour Is Not A Road Trip [REVIEW]

If we haven’t made it clear yet with our slogan and Home Studio Stories series, we are big fans of the DIY music scene and its scrappiness. And so, naturally, we are also big fans of A Day Without Love’s new EP Tour Is Not A Road Trip – a four song love letter to touring and the DIY community.

ᴬⁿᵈ ᵒᶠ ᶜᵒᵘʳˢᵉ ʷᵉ’ʳᵉ ᵃˡˢᵒ *ᵃˡˢᵒ* ᵇᶦᵍ ᶠᵃⁿˢ ᵒᶠ ᵗʰᵉ ᶠᵃᶜᵗ ᵗʰᵃᵗ ᵗʰᵉˢᵉ ˢᵒⁿᵍˢ ʷᵉʳᵉ ʳᵉᶜᵒʳᵈᵉᵈ ᵇʸ ᴷᶦᵗᶻʸ ᵃᵗ ᵗʰᵉ ˢᵗᵘᵈᶦᵒ ʰᵉʳᵉ ᶦⁿ ᴾʰᶦˡˡʸ☺

A Day Without Love is Philadelphia native Brian Walker, and he has plenty of DIY cred. He’s toured across 22 states with over 700(!) different bands, and has multiple self-recorded LPs and EPs and singles under his belt. This upcoming spring, he’ll be performing at the DIY music and arts festival Stoopfest 2023 alongside the likes of Quelle Chris, Gully Boys, Teenage Halloween, Mikey Erg, and more.

But really, ADWL’s authenticity is clear as soon as this EP starts. It opens with the cheeky “DIY or DIE,” kicking off with opening lines that sound like they’re being sung at a basement show (“I sing in houses and you sing for corporate!”). The track is a barb-filled dismissal of sell-outs and greedy fame seekers, but it also showcases the love Walker has for this scene. Thanks to the freedom of independence, he’s able to brag – “I can say and do what I want!”

Later, on “Show Friends,” the joys of touring and traveling are outlined. The track oozes pure love for couch surfing and hugging strangers, and it has an infectiously warm groove. It closes out with a gorgeous orchestral outro (featuring Erin Fox on viola, Maya Renfro on violin, and Ellen Tiberio Schulz on cello).

Of course, it would be dishonest not to sing a little bit about the brutal difficulties associated with DIY touring and musicianship, so Walker takes time to acknowledge the rough stuff, too. “Home on the Highway” touches on the enormous amount of risk-taking involved with being an artist, and the doubt and indecision that occasionally creeps in because of it. And while “Caffeine” is energetic and wryly funny (I chuckle at the line “I’m not eating, I’m only shitting” every time I hear it), it also hints at the overwork and exhaustion that comes with the scene.

The EP serves as a preview for ADWL’s upcoming full length, A Stranger That You Met Before. On these four songs, the love and dedication Walker has for his craft and his community is apparent. The love emanates from each note, and it’s so celebratory and charming that it makes you want to pick up a guitar and start couch surfing yourself. 

Follow A Day Without Love on Twitter and support Tour Is Not A Road Trip on Bandcamp – you can stream it or buy the 10 inch lathe record pressed by Ur Mom Records. You can also check out his website and YouTube channel.

Header image📷: Bill Streicher

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