Sunday, January 17, 2016

Album Review :: Daughter - Not To Disappear


Not To Disappear (4AD)

January 15 2016


Words: Alison Mack

Three years after their debut album 'If You Leave', London trio Daughter return to the studio to bring a further welcome wave of Elena Tonra's downcast lyrics and emotive vocals. Their first outing was filled out on minimal instrumentation and subtly sung declarations which reflected on ruined relationships; their second - recorded with Animal Collective producer Nicolas Vernhes - returns to some familiar themes.

On opener 'New Ways', she exhibits low in the mix vocals in a track whose start then breaks vehemently midway into a guitar and feedback frenzy. 'No Care' offers three minutes of upbeat drums and propulsive guitar that kick musically at the sentiment underneath: "I don’t care I don’t care anymore" she wants us to believe.

Tonra is at her best, however, submerged in this gloom-ridden world. She and Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella deliver a striking, but icy, ambience, much shrouded in lyrical bleakness. "I have lost my children/I have lost my love/I just sit in silence/Let the pictures soak/Out of televisions," she sings on 'Doing the Right Thing', written from her experience of seeing her grandmother's decline after developing Alzheimer's.

'Alone/With You' sees her positing whether “I should get a dog or something,” as she questions a state of aloneness, while on the piano augmented 'To Belong', she exalts this state of independence, though 'No Care' fuels anger and hostility, as the singer bemoans not being asked for dances: "I always look like I'm drowning".

The gentle 'Made of Stone' closes the album with a warm wrap of soothing textures that indicate Daughter have now fully come of age.

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