Album Review: Daughter – Not to Disappear

By Sam Tornow, Managing Editor

[4AD; 2016]

Rating: 3/5

Key Tracks: “Doing The Right Thing,” “How,” “Alone”

Daughter, a band known for moody tunes with an English twist, is back with their second full-length, Not to Disappear. In a change of direction, the band has taken an atmospheric turn, with larger instrumentals and a hint of pop.

As a whole, Not to Disappear flows extremely well and has a definitive sound, especially when compared to past releases by the band. Individually, though, a few tracks sound a bit too similar and over time it does become rather tired. Daughter’s signature sound comes from vocalist Elena Tonra, who posseses the voice of a broken angel, but it would be nice to hear her let it all out instead of the often reserved vocals heard on nearly every track.

With the issue of repetition out of the way, Not to Disappear does feature a number of heart-wrenching songs which will send the listener on a figurative lonely journey through space. “Doing the Right Thing,” the first song released off the album, is especially emotional. In a hushed tone, Tonra whimpers “I have lost my children / I have lost my love / I just sit in silence / Let the picture soak / Out of televisions,” over a low bass line.

On the subject of sadness, “Alone / With You,” lays down a brutally honest vocal delivery over a dreamy, Beach House-esque instrumental. A constant low tom plants a foundation which expands into an entwined synth pattern, giving a sense of progress while Tonra bluntly sings about not eating and getting a dog to avoid loneliness.

Perhaps the most diverse track on the album comes in the form of “How.” Contrary to most of the slower, bigger songs on the album, “How,” has a minimal, dark, dancey, ‘80s vibe, reminiscent of something off the band’s first full-length, If You Leave.

Not to Disappear takes the listener to the edge of the universe and leaves them there stumbling and alone, but even the stars can get dull if you stare at them for too long. Regardless, Daughter’s latest release is a solid album which fans and newcomers alike will enjoy.

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