It only takes five minutes with Daughter, a three piece folk band from London, to wonder what man could really have destroyed guitarist and vocalist Elena Tonra’s heart. For those who are already initiated with the low ebb lyrical blues of the band, debut album If You Leave won’t be a massive surprise, however for those newcomers, well, prepare to have your heart broken over and over.
If You Leave isn’t exactly a massive departure from what Daughter have offered music listeners before. We still have the same sparse arrangements based around the most vulnerable of guitar melodies while hints of conflicting electric guitar and uplifting percussion work are used to taunt the listener. This allows Tonra’s warm although often low key vocals to affect the listener with poetic lyrics based around seemingly wishing she was never born and the always so obvious and yet ever more popular subject of lost love.
For those who like their music happy and uplifting, stay away. This really isn’t for you. But when this works, it really works, especially on old favourite Youth, which despite being overplayed on television advertisements has somehow stayed fresh with Tonra claiming ‘if you’re in love, then you are the lucky one, ’cause most of us are bitter over someone’ over a dreamy, indie summer explosion of musical beauty. Latest single, Human, another stand out track, offers an upbeat almost tribal sound to the proceedings and lyrically is more positive with Tonra singing ‘despite everything I’m still human’, adding yet another song from the album to the getting over someone playlist.
If You Leave isn’t a spectacular album. It isn’t going to blow your ears off in one listen. But what it will do is make you sit in a quiet room with massive headphones on as you slowly allow it to consume you. Atmospheric and emotionally life confirming, it has to be the most honest album released for a long time, and for that alone, Daughter deserve to be listened to.