Daughter - If You Leave
Record Label: 4AD
Release Date: March 18th, 2013
When I was younger, my brother would be my main source of discovering music. Unfortunate for me, the only genre he listened to was Hip Hop. I was fairly sheltered from most other genres, turning off the song before I ever heard thirty seconds of it. It wasn't until I was thirteen, watching MuchMusic (The Canadian MTV) that I discovered my first favourite Rock song. That song was My Chemical Romance's 'The Ghost Of You'. Since then, I've expanded my musical likings to Electronica, Pop, and expanded my likings of rock into nearly all the sub-genres. Sure, I was the typical kid who listened to 'Emo' all the time, but at the same time, I was the kid who enjoyed Indie, Folk, and Pop-Punk.
The feeling of discovering a new genre of music, was, to me, like having your very first kiss. It's new, it's awkward at first, but eventually it's something you feel like you've been missing for a majority of your life. Such is the feeling I get when I listen to Daughter's stunning debut album If You Leave. Comprised of Igor Haefeli's haunting guitar work, Remi Aguilella's brooding and thematic drums, and Elena Tonra's beautiful vocals. The album starts with 'Winter', a dark tale of two lovers drifting apart, and losing any sense of love they had for each other. On it, Elena beckons 'Oh winter comes/ Oh winter crush all/ Of the things that I've onced loved'. Combined with the collaborations of Haefeli and Aguilella, the song bares multiple layers that are impossible to fully appreciate on the first listen.
In all honesty, as much as I enjoy this band's first two EPs, I felt as if this debut wasn't going to top them. The concentration of incredible lyricism and instrumentation of them was far too superior than the singles I heard. I was skeptical. But after listening to the album multiple times, I can honestly say that, while the direction of the album varies from the previous EPs (focusing more on humanity and relationships rather than strictly heartbreak), it possesses a certain allure that the The Wild Youth and His Young Heart seem to be missing. What is this allure? It's about as mysterious as the composition of the album itself. But I wholeheartedly accept it. And so does Daughter: on 'Amsterdam' Elena professes her insecurities with such frailty as 'I've been thinking that I should see someone/Just to find out if I'm alright' it's hard not to have a pseudo connection to her fear, her incapacity to know what she truly wants. It's both pleasing and unsettling hearing these themes on an album.
If You Leave is one of those albums that feel like they were meant for the artists' ears only. And it can be seen throughout the album that the lyrics possess an exposure of Elena Tonra in such a way it's almost shocking to hear it. This isn't the kind of album meant for the sixteen-year-olds trying to get over their relationship that lasted two months. This is meant for the ones whose souls ache. For the ones who do not truly understand how the world works, and want to know why things like this happen. They want to figure out how two people who are in this world fall in love, and fall out of it overtime, and still feel different than anything else in the world. It's an idea that's almost existential. If you don't believe me, just listen to album closer 'Shallows'. Daughter may not have all the answers, but they are surely trying their best to figure them out.