Over the last few years, Daughter have reached popularity that lead singer Elena Tonra probably never conceived when she started performing as Daughter in 2010. However, her stark, honest music resonated with many music fans around the world. Their 2013 record If You Leave is an amazing record, and one of the best of that year. In 2016, the London-based trio of Tonra, guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguiella released their long-awaited sophomore record, Not to Disappear on 4AD.
When a band releases a debut as great as Daughter’s If You Leave, it is so hard to follow that up with something that doesn’t feel like it falls short. Not To Disappear does not fall short in any way. In fact, it expands on the sound of their debut record in many different and exciting ways. Out of the gate with “New Ways”, it starts similar to the tracks we heard on If You Leave, until we get about halfway in and it gets heavy, tons of reverb and noise. There’s a bit of an edge here and it’s awesome. “Numbers” and “Doing The Right Thing” were two early singles from Not To Disappear and are two stunners.
Then we get to “How”. It is an amazing track, it’s a bit dreamy with Tonra’s voice, as well as tons of guitar effects and reverb and some really awesome drumming. In an early Mundo Musique post, I described Daughter as “Florence and The Machine meet the XX”, but for this one throw in some Joy Formidable and Sharon Van Etten and you’ve got “How”.
The next two tracks are fairly electronic, “Mothers” starts with a keyboard part before being joined by some really beautiful guitar work from Haefeli, and takes off for a huge ending. “Alone / With You” features electronic bass and synth, it’s a really great track, and features some of Tonra’s most brutally honest lyrics, until we get to “To Belong”.
Daughter actually get a little upbeat with “No Care” and “Fossa”, both great tracks that are driven by Aguiella’s drumming. Not To Disappear comes to a close with the absolutely beautiful “Made of Stone”. There’s nothing better than a beautiful track to close a record, as it ties a record together quite nicely, and “Made Of Stone” is the perfect example of why and how you expect Daughter to leave you feeling at the end of an album.
Not To Disappear is an amazing follow-up to If You Leave. Daughter built on what they created, and added more electronics and a bit more of a rough edge to their sound. It’s still the sad, beautiful music you’d expect from the trio, but it just feels a bit more mature, and a bit more full.
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