wed 24/07/2024

CD: Daughter - Not To Disappear | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Daughter - Not To Disappear

CD: Daughter - Not To Disappear

Dark and deeply personal indie pop

London based trio Daughter's 'Not To Disappear' - beautiful but depressing

All eyes are on Daughter to see whether the indie-folk trio’s second album Not To Disappear can live up to the first. If You Leave (2013) was lauded a critical success, and the band fronted by North Londoner Elena Tonra earned a fiercely loyal following.

There’s no great change in direction for their music but Not To Disappear is basically more and better. The tracks are immediately recognisable for their shadowy and intimate signature style but they are – not more mature, exactly – but kind of deeper, darker. Recorded in New York with Nicolas Vernhes (War On Drugs) the new album has gravitas. It’s a curious mix of wordy music that makes you think ("Mothers", "Doing the Right Thing") and ambient tracks that hypnotise you into a thoughtless trance ("New Ways").

Tonra’s deeply personal poetry, her inner musings on all kinds of grief is aired, bravely

"Numbers" is set to be a hit. With its persistent beat and insistent repetition of “I feel numb, numb in this kingdom”, it sets a melancholic tone that resonates throughout. Tonra’s deeply personal poetry, her inner musings on all kinds of grief is aired, bravely. This is a collection of memories, feelings and neuroses with loss, alienation and loneliness prevalent themes. In "Along With You" she sings with soft aggression: “I hate living alone, talking to myself is boring conversation/I hate sleeping with you, because you are never there, just a shadowy figure with a blank face”. "No Care" speeds things up with a pacey and insistent beat but it’s a token gesture before we spiral back down with "To Belong", drifting through warm syncopation and rippling piano accompanying lyrics like, “Don’t you think you’d be better off without me round your neck?”.

Backed with a pensive guitar from Igor Haefeli and strong baseline drums from Remi Aguilella, the band have captured perfectly the nuance of a generation. The fact that Tonra is so forthcoming with her everyday grief is almost an act of defiance in today’s chimerical pop culture, buzzing with cat gifs, celebrity selfies and life through a rose-tinted instagram filter. Her lyrical catharsis, bravery and liberation is important for this generation but it’s almost too depressing to listen to the whole album in one go.

It’s a curious mix of music that can make you think and tracks that hypnotise you into a thoughtless trance


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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