The tri-national DAUGHTER, comprised of North-Londoner Elena Tonra, Swiss guitarist Igor Haefeli and French drummer Remi Aguilella have created, in Not to Disappear, a sophomore album of unbelievably staggering beauty and immense scale. Following 2013’s popularly coveted If You Leave, Daughter have truly outdone themselves.
Opening track “New Ways” sets a sonic precedent with its sprawling, reverb-laden soundscapes which are a consistent backdrop throughout the album. As electronic drums echo beneath shimmering guitars and trembling vocal lines, which sit quite far-back in the track, it is quickly established that this is a fiercely self-assured piece of work. There is no rush, no need to over-compensate; but a wonderful sense of sparsity which occasionally gives way to widescreen instrumentals reminiscent of Icelandic sound-wielders Sigur Ros.
Moving on through tracks like “Numbers” where pounding drums ripple beneath synth-swells and delicate guitar riffs an emotional rawness rears its head as Tonra mourns “I feel numb, I feel numb in this kingdom.” It’s a gripping track and a signpost for the album’s thematic constants of loss and loneliness which crop up over and over.
“How” is perhaps the album’s most obvious candidate to be a lead-single with its rousing, cinematic introduction complete with crashing drums and squealing guitars, but each track possesses something unique and wholly captivating. “No Care” is a high-tempo self-examination, claiming “I only know how to flail…I’d rather stand still” led by a riff that sounds like a Nirvana rarity played at the wrong speed, while the lengthy “Fossa” flits between an orchestral contemplativeness and an open-skied, driving indie-warmth.
Not to Disappear is a phenomenal album from start to finish; textured, interesting and beautiful. It’s an album which evolves, it’s haunting lyrics garnering momentum with repetition while it’s instrumentals seem to gain fresh depth with each listen. It deserves regular and loud plays, so get listening!
Download Not To Disappear (4AD) on iTunes now.