Are Daughter ready for their close-up?
With a resume chocked with appearances on Letterman and KEXP and tours with The National and Ben Howard, England’s Daughter shouldn’t require introduction or long for a “break out” with their second album. Not to Disappear, set to drop in a few days, should position Daughter in equal standing with Sufjan Stevens, Deerhunter and Justin Vernon.
Debut, If You Leave, 2013 (4AD) was lauded for its desolate atmosphere and emotional breadth, with singer/song-writer Elana Tonra’s impressive disguise of cut-me-open vehemence in a soothing, warm delivery its calling card. Numerous accolades, including “Independent Album of the Year” at the AIM Independent Music Awards, followed the release and several tracks even appeared in hit shows such as “Mistresses”, “Gray’s Anatomy”, and “Skins”.
Two years later, expectations are at a zenith for Tonra and company. Repeating the poignancy rarely felt outside Grizzly Bear’s Horn of Plenty, Steven’s Carrie and Lowell, or the ineffable Sigur Ros catalogue is nearly indomitable, but Daughter seem doggedly opposed to walking the tightrope between playing it safe and completely reinventing their sound. Early indications allude to Tonra and band-mates Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella progressing the invariable disquiet.
The group released the single, “Doing the Right Thing” and accompanying video late last September, which is every bit as disconsolate as its predecessors with the track’s central focus “concerning the delicate subject of dementia and its debilitating, all-pervading effect on family,” according to the press release. Aligning with producer Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, War On Drugs, Animal Collective), and choosing chilling album artwork by abstract painter, Sarah Shaw, prove Daughter is sticking to psalms of isolation and melancholy.
by Kevin Sterne
Kevin Sterne is a writer and journalist with a passion for music, art and creative perspectives. He lives in Chicago and is earning an M.A. in Writing but mostly thinks the English cannon is for douches. The best concert he’s been to was Sufjan Stevens at Eaux Claires. Follow him on Twitter @kevinsterne or read more of his work here: www.kevinsterne.com