Review: Daughter – Not To Disappear

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Daughter return with their second album, Not To Disappear, which goes beyond merely picking up where If You Leave left off.

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Indie three-piece Daughter, consisting of lead vocalist Elena Tonra, guitarist Igor Haefeli, and drummer Remi Aguilella, return with their second album, Not To Disappear. Their debut studio album, If You Leave, was released back in 2013, including a number of hits such as ‘Youth’, ‘Smother’ and ‘Human’, which gained the band popularity on the indie circuit. The album established the band’s signature melancholic and haunting sound, but their second offering is a confident release that moves on towards a more electronic sound and even darker themes.

Not To Disappear kicks off with ‘New Ways’, the gentle opener that sets the sombre mood for the album as a whole, and showcases Tonra’s atmospheric vocals in all of their glory. ‘Numbers’ comes next, and is probably the track that is most representative of their previous work. ‘Doing The Right Thing’ follows as one of the pivotal tracks on the album, as an exploration into the thoughts of an Alzheimer’s suffering, which is especially poignant as Tonra’s own grandmother suffers from the disease. The band’s lyrics are particularly prominent in this track, such as “Everyone’s in love, I just sit in silence,” emphasising this heartbreaking message. This track will play on the emotions of anyone that knows anyone suffering from the harrowing illness. ‘No Care’ is has a tone distinct from the rest of the album. The song’s loud, chaotic nature is a product of Aguilella’s fast paced drumming; a well considered extra dimension to this record.

The album is clever in the way it has hints of their previous work, whilst still moving in a distinctive and fresh direction. In this way it has the potential to maintain old fans while gaining new ones. Stand out tracks on the album include ‘Doing The Right Thing’, ‘No Care’ and ‘To Belong’. As always, Elena Tonra’s vocals shine through on this record in expressing fragility and heartache, whether that be in life or love. Haefeli and Aguilella should by no means be without praise; they provide the perfect backdrop for the lyrics to shine through. While any fans hoping for a slightly more upbeat and happier second album may be left disappointed, Daughter have stuck to what they do best – conveying the pains of life. Not To Disappear is an album that is definitely worth a listen, especially if you have never heard the band before.

Not To Disappear is out now via 4AD.

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