Album Review: Daughter – If You Leave
If You Leave is the highly anticipated debut album from Daughter, the London trio who have charmed those lucky enough to discover them supporting acts like Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Beirut and Ben Howard. The foundations of Daughter’s fanbase were built by the very people whose attention they have captured; either live, in discovering their EPs by chance or through their label 4AD.
Elena Tonra’s vocals are perfectly complimented by sounds that have naturally progressed from His Young Heart and The Wild Youth, the band’s EPs from 2011. However experimenting with an upbeat sound on ‘Human’ has definitely paid off, it is one of the album’s standout tracks. The more intense sound established on the track can also be heard on ‘Youth’, which has been developed since its first outing on The Wild Youth EP.
The second single to be taken from the album, ‘Still’, chillingly recounts a relationship being endured as opposed to enjoyed. The disturbingly descriptive lyric “cold smoke seeping out of colder throats” instantly struck a chord on first listen. Haunting vocals run the course of If You Leave, not one of the ten songs sounds like an afterthought. An appropriate place has been found for each of them.
Many of the tracks offer thought-provoking lyrics, which are contrasted by soundscapes as reckless as they are mesmerising. On some of them Elena’s lyrics are ghostlike, while the sound from guitarist Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella on drums, is the main focus. But the chilling lyrical conclusion of ‘Smother’ puts Elena in the spotlight; it is one example of many that displays an emotive rawness in her voice.
Those who have been witness to Daughter’s ascent so far should be pleased with the overall sound that is a perfect follow-up to their EPs. It is more or less certain that on its March 18th release, If You Leave will bring them the recognition that they so deserve.
Watch the video for ‘Still’ below: