Posts tagged ‘Daughter’
Daughter released a new video for the song “Still” a single off the Elena Tonra-led band’s forthcoming debut album “If You Leave”, scheduled for release via 4AD on March 18th in UK and Europe, and on April 30th in North America via Glassnote. Click here for Their Bated Breath archived posts about Daughter. Follow the band on facebook. Video directed by Iain Forsyth/Jane Pollard. – David D. Robbins Jr.
London’s Daughter made its television debut last night on Late Night with David Letterman, singing “Youth” from off the band’s EP, “The Wild Youth”. I feel a bit like a proud papa, since I’ve been writing about this band for a couple of years now on this blog. It’s good to celebrate a success. Sometimes the record industry, and the media that can propel them, do get it right. This is a very talented band, with an über-talented lead singer, Elena Tonra. It’s her personal lyrics about love and loss that drive Daughter, with her bandmates setting the table with exquisite, moody ambient guitars and timely percussion. Sometimes, when bands get to bigger stages, like a large TV audience, they make the mistake of changing something crucial about the band: Playing a song in a way they normally wouldn’t or presenting a false front that has more commercial appeal. I’ve seen this many times before. In this case, Daughter remained true to itself. The band looked and sounded as they normally do. They also picked a perfect song. “Youth” has it’s quiet and subtle moments, which are a cornerstone to Daughter’s sound — and it’s a track that showcases Tonra’s wonderful lyrical songwriting gifts, “Destroy the middle, it’s a waste of time / From the perfect start to the finish line / And if you’re still breathing, you’re the lucky ones / Because most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs …” The band’s performance did Daughter justice. Listen and watch below. Click here to read archived Their Bated Breath posts about the band. Note: Photo from band’s facebook page. – David D. Robbins Jr.
Singer-songwriter Elena Tonra and her band Daughter have posted a song, “Smother”, from off their upcoming debut record. Up to now they’ve been dropping singles and EPs, like “The Wild Youth” and “His Young Heart”. The song, “Smother”, will also be out on 7-inch vinyl on October 1st through 4AD (UK, Europe & ROTW) & Glassnote (North America). It will come backed with a new version of “Run”. As many of you that read this blog already know, I’m a big fan of Daughter. Behind Tonra’s beautifully poetic lyrics and impassioned voice, the band has already created a number of songs that move somewhere between great and stunning. She’s a lyrical songwriter of the highest quality, and her band knows how to best accentuate her many moods. There’s a searing force behind the meek-voiced Tonra, who tends to write honest and meditative verses of anguish and love. The lyrics in “Smother” don’t disappoint: “I’m wasted, losing time / On a foolish fragile spine / I want all that is not mine / I want him but we’re not right / In the darkness I will meet my creators / And they will all agree that I’m a suffocater.” You can follow the band at facebook or read more about the group and listen to other songs from previous Their Bated Breath posts. Note: Image taken from poster featured on band’s facebook page. Lyrics are unofficial. – David D. Robbins Jr.
Daughter’s session at Daytrotter was just posted this week. Elena Tonra and Co. cover four of her songs, “Candles”, “In the Shallows”, “Tomorrow”, and “Landfill”. She’s a formidable talent, with keen songwriting skills. She has an ability to make you believe what she sings, her songs all burnished with intimacy and a fragile honesty. To read a number of archived Their Bated Breath posts about Daughter click here. This is what I wrote about the song, “Tommorrow” in a previous post: “The love in her songs is as forcible as plutonium. Sometimes it ignites like in ‘Run’ or corrodes as rusting copper like in ‘Tomorrow’. Whatever the outcome, it’s passionate and intense as tragic love always is.” This is what I wrote about “In the Shallows”: “It’s so searing — heartbreaking in its understatement.” But I think it’s the track below, “Candles”, that hits on everything great about Daughter. The power of the song rests in her beautifully poetic songwriting, a marvelous ear for melody, and her skill at translating feeling into tangibility and essence. I wrote this about “Candles” back in April of this year, “At the heart of the song is a disconnection between physical closeness and true closeness.” Follow Daughter at facebook. – David D. Robbins Jr.
Daughter‘s Elena Tonra is an exceptional singer-songwriter, especially when it comes to love, the pursuit of love, and its disintegration. Add “Home” to the mix that already includes marvels like “Love”, “Landfill”, and “In the Shallows”. “Home” is the opening track from her upcoming November 21st release, “The Wild Youth”. It will be a four-song EP, also featuring the songs, “Medicine”, “Youth” and “Love”, a single she released two weeks ago. “Home” is a love song sung with an equal mix of trepidation and passion. It’s interesting to note how this pulsating song builds its steady pace. Yes, there are the quickening drums, the accelerating vocals, and the sonics of the latter half of the song — but much of the steady speed comes from these tempestuous phrases, under five words each: “Now he’s moving close / My heart in my throat … / But I think he knows, / That I’ve hardly slept / Since the night he left / His body always kept / Mine inside of it / Keep the nightmares out / Give me mouth to mouth / I can’t live without you …” I’m still wrapping my head around the lyric, “Keep the nightmares out / Give me mouth to mouth”. The imagery of love and death, kissing and resuscitation makes for one of the highlights in this beautiful piece of songwriting. You can purchase tickets to see Daughter live at the following shows: December 6th at Bristol, UK, Cube Cinema; Dec. 7th at London, UK, St. Giles In The Fields; and Dec. 8th at Manchester, UK, Deaf Institute. Follow the band on twitter and facebook. – David D. Robbins Jr.
Elena Tonra’s band, Daughter, have released the first track, “Love”, from an upcoming EP “The Wild Youth”. It’s a song about love and being left behind. “I can’t forget it / Though I’ve tried / I know you regret it, love / Told me so many times / But I still wonder / Why you left with her / And left me dead.” Daughter is one of the stronger relatively unheard bands I’ve posted about since I started this blog. “Love” adds another powerful track to their setlist. It’s no wonder love is the topic of their first release off “The Wild Youth”, because it’s a topic that also figured largely on “His Young Heart”. It’s quite remarkable how Tonra finds new moments of genuine heartbreak. “Love” builds with sparse, haunting guitar and echoed vocals. The poetics are beautiful as always. There’s one point during the song, where the pace quickens to a heartbeat, on this spiteful verse: “Did she make your heart beat faster than I could?” It’s splendidly inventive. Click here for previous Their Bated Breath posts about Daughter. Listen to more of the band’s music at bandcamp. You can also follow Daughter at twitter or facebook. The full tracklisting for “The Wild Youth” EP is: “Home”, “Medicine”, “Youth”, “Love”. The record is set for release on November 21st via Communion Records. You can see the band live on December 6th at Bristol, Cube Cinema; Dec. 7th at London, St. Giles In The Fields; and Dec. 8th at Manchester, Deaf Institute. – David D. Robbins Jr.
By David D. Robbins Jr. | Their Bated Breath
Daughter “His Young Heart” EP
Daughter’s first official release, “His Young Heart” EP, follows the buzz of her four gorgeous demo tracks. The four new songs are just as emotionally giving and complex. On two of the tracks, feelings of love and hate turn with the twist of a verse. “Landfill” is a tell-off song, saying, “Go ahead and leave.” And yet there’s a fissure between love and anger: “This is dangerous / ‘Cuz I want you so much / But I hate your guts / I hate you.” There isn’t a singer out there who cloaks missives like that in a whispery restraint. It speaks volumes to the combination of Tonra’s songwriting and her voice. It’s a voice disarming and quietly fierce. Her dark tones makes each song sound like an intimate disclosure. The clear, treble-heavy consonances raising tiny tempests in a wake of delicately-reverbed vocals. Then there’s the pretty quality of her phrases, “Wait until the snow covers me up / So I cannot move / So I’m just embedded in the frost / Then leave me in the rain / Wait until my clothes cling to my frame.” Self-pity never sounded so poetically sweet.
There are the familiar touchstones of her first recordings in these four songs: mercurial love and hate, secrets, bones, dreams, cold weather and shrouding images like the sea, the woods and forests. Hiding places. Getaways. A young girl’s simultaneous fear and comforting refuge from the world. Tonra’s songs can be so heartbreakingly lonely, her descriptions of outer weather often matching the inner weather of her personal confusions of the heart. Perhaps the strongest song on the record, “Candles”, is mild-blowing and tragic as a fairytale gone wrong. It seems to be about a boy who takes advantage of a young girl’s sexual naivety. Of course, it doesn’t have to be that literal. At the heart of the song is a disconnection between physical closeness and true closeness. The story becomes a lesson, and the song’s protagonist feels vindicated in the knowledge this boy is never going to really be her lover: “Blow out the candles / You’re too old to be so shy, he says to me / So I stay all night / I was just a young heart, confusing in my mind / We’re both in silence / Wide-eyed / Like we’re in a crime scene / Both in silence, wide-eyed / Because we both know I’ll never be your lover / I only bring the heat / Company under cover / Filling space in your sheets.”
There’s a haunting quality to this record, which ends with “Switzerland”, a song that will please fans of Sleep ∞ Over with its narcotized, dreamy, apparition-like drift. The carefully picked acoustics and vocals on “His Young Heart” are also cavernous, which only seems apropos to Daughter’s style. It’s just Tonra and the self-reflecting nature of her music. She allows the reverberation of the guitar strings to fill in the emotive spaces, giving it a breath equal to her own. It’s the spirit of her music, the ethereal and ghostly undercurrents arranged with delicacy around her murmured secrets. “The Woods” is a mastery of mood. Tonra sings of asking St. Christopher (patron saint of long journey’s and storms) to find someone’s lost sister, who went out in the woods. Her vocals glide with an expert’s ease. It’s here we get the gorgeous phrase personifying nature: “And we’re trying to stop the winter / Killin’ all it could.”
Between these four tracks, the four demos, and some of Daughter’s earlier works you can find on YouTube, it’s clear Tonra is gifted with qualities that can’t be taught. Some musicians look on the world with soft eyes. Tonra has the ability to make you feel what she feels. You can’t teach that like you teach a pupil how to play a guitar. She’s a musician who gives honestly of herself with such clarity and peaks of passion. Note: You’ll find her playing at The Slaughtered Lamb in London, U.K. at 7 p.m. on April 20. Read a Their Bated Breath archived post about Daughter’s four earlier demo tracks here. Lyrics are unofficial.