Daughter’s 2013 album, If You Leave, was a graceful arrival by frontwoman Elena Tonra, guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella. And who can forget the group’s killer cover of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’. Three years on, Not to Disappear is a record of boy problems and a stride for independence.
There’s an element of the Savages defiant female energy to Daughter’s second album. Elena Tonra’s stories of bad sex (‘No Care’) with a lover she’d rather replace with a pet than spend another night with (‘Alone / With You’) will be uncomfortable for some, cathartic for others – even with her gentle, languid vocals that bear similarity to Romy Madley Croft of The xx. Indeed, ‘To Belong’ sounds like a cry for independence from a young woman who’s tired of being treated as less than equal by her ex-lover and society at large. Reflections on motherhood in the songs ‘Doing the Right Thing’ and ‘Mothers’ add further fuel to this perspective.
From all this, the impression Not to Disappear gives is that it is about one doing more than simply existing (‘New Ways’). Sparse guitars, a la London Grammar, and propulsive, mesmeric folk sounds were the bedrock of Daughter’s first album, and that’s no different here, with the grand ‘Fossa’ and ethereal ‘How’ delivering rhythmic highs. Tormented and moody though it is, Tonra makes her bid to escape an affecting one.
Not to Disappear is out now on 4AD.
Have you listened to this album? If so, what did you think of it? Tweet me @aarnlee.