Thursday, 4 February 2016

Daughter - Not To Disappear

One album in recent years that totally hit me right in the ribs was London based indie-folk trio Daughter’s 2013 debut album If You Leave. It was an album of stark emotion and easily one of my favourite albums of the year and one I still revisit regularly, it’s fragile balance between folksy minimalism and glacial post rock sensibilities only making the pervasive atmosphere of melancholy more succinct. Not To Disappear is the bands eagerly awaited sophomore album. 
Much like the band’s debut Not To Disappear is built on a foundation of beautifully simple arrangements, at the core of which sits Elena Tonra’s spectacularly affecting vocals, the key difference between this album and the band’s first lies in the gradual shift away from their folk roots in favour of a more electronic sound. In places the album is peppered with synthetic beats and whilst the overall ethos remains ice cold and sombre several tracks feel noticeably faster. These shifts add a spot of welcome variation to proceedings. The other more familiar aspects of the band’s sound remain intact, reverb laden guitars and soft but measured percussion instilling the album with the bands indelible mark. Lyrically things remain focused on heartbreak and confusion of interpersonal relations but in a couple of places things take an even more harrowing turn as Tonra expounds on the dementia and loss by instalments. For many people this will be a painful listen because it is clear from the honesty of the song writing this is not a subject that is being explored to mawkishly jerk tears from the listener but is in fact coming from a place of real experience. Whilst the album may seem fairly monotonous in its procession of the melancholy and sombre the whole album fits together perfectly and just like its predecessor is a singularly affecting listen, perfect for those late night contemplative moods. Highlights include the heart-breaking lead single Doing The Right Thing which expounds on the ceaseless barbarity of dementia and the fragility of memory and No Care with its more driven energy which sees the band flirt with uncharted territory.

Overall Not To Disappear is a brilliant follow up from a band who still show as much. Available now on CD or Vinyl from 4AD I would highly recommend you check it out.

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