Daughter is the name for the three piece indie-folk band from North London. The band formed in 2010 and since releasing their debut EP, His Young Heart, in 2011, the band have continued to go from strength to strength. After a second EP the band released their debut album If You Leave on 4AD, a label full of fantastic artists of many different genres, from Ariel Pink to Bon Iver & Grimes.
If You Leave was an album full of emotional heartfelt songs, with delicate guitar lines and a fragile voice, filtered through a heavier lense of dramatic percussion and reverbed guitar lines, most evident on the single Youth, which has become the bands most recognisable song in my opinion. Now Daughter are back with Not To Disappear, their second full length. Recorded with Nicolas Vernhes in his Rare Book Studios in Brooklyn, New York. Not To Disappear shows a different, more confident band.
On playing the opening track New Ways I immediately knew Daughter had become a different band. The raw emotion and dark lyrics were there, but no longer did I feel like I was listening to an acoustic song forced into being electric, which I felt at certain points listening to their last album.. ‘New Ways’ is a fantastically smooth blend of electronic and rock, the tracks slow, delayed drum beats reminds of some dark understated techno from the likes of Burial, whereas the bass, feed backed guitar & synth of the chorus reminds me of Talk Talk.
The first single from this album cycle, Doing The Right Thing is another poignant moment for me. I love the part in the track just before the chorus about a minute, where all instrumentation stops except for Elena’s voice and her guitar. It really highlights the fantastic production from Vernhes, as that guitar tone is something I could listen to all day.
The second single, Numbers however unfortunately I didn’t enjoy as much as ‘Doing The Right Thing’. Daughter being a band known for their quite dark, not very cheery lyrics is something I’m fine with. However sometimes it can be very difficult to not sound over dramatic and forcefully melancholy, which is my problem with the track number. Musically I find it a solid cut from the tracklist, but the opening line “Take the worst situation, make a worse situation” just sounds a little bit naff for me.
Where numbers falls short for me, every other track more than makes up for it. The fourth track, coming after ‘Doing The Right Thing’, called How opens with stellar reverbed guitar lines than just were stuck in my head for days. A track like this shows the potential Daughter have to write songs for bigger venues, which I’m sure is something they will have to consider in the future. How also showcases a band able to foster their influences fantastically well, with the verses having a really nice pixies style bassline.
Tracks like No Care and Fossa also provide a breath of fresh air from the slower tracks, the guitar tone on the former reminds me a huge amount of post-hardcore acts like Being As An Ocean, which is something I really enjoyed.
Overall there isn’t a lot I can fault with this album. The writing as whole has improved from the last album, and with this album title I feel Daughter are making a statement to their fans, Not To Disappear means exactly what it says, Daughter aren’t going anywhere.