By Mel S-L
VANCOUVER — Everyone feels sad sometimes. It’s a set of emotions no more distinct than happiness, ranging from the smallest dips of disappointment to the most devastating pits of personal agony. More often than not it passes with a quick hug or a good laugh, but sometimes it can linger. Sometimes sadness seeps into the cracks of old heartbreak, into the heavy silence of loneliness, into the bouts of hopelessness that can paralyse. In these moments we are powerless, our pain remedied only by comisery. This is how many of us have come to know Daughter. Few bands have penned their descent into crippling despair so indulgently and, with the release of their second album, they’re ready to show us the way out.
Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli, and Remi Aguillela have been writing and performing as Daughter since forming in 2010, when vocalist Tonra was struggling with the limits of being a solo artist. The trio quickly found their sound, realeasing two EPs and garnering enough attention to prompt an offer from British record label 4AD, home of Bon Iver, Iron & Wine, and The National, to name a few. Soon after came the 2013 release of If You Leave, the debut full-length album rife with romantic agony and emotional defeat. Tonra’s unabashed lyrical confessions, cradled by Haefeli’s crying guitar and Aguillela’s thunderous drumming flooded the British pop scene like a torrential rain. Daughter wasted no time basking in their new-found fame, soon embarking on a lengthy international tour in support of the record.
Fans have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of a sophomore album ever since the band’s first mention of it back in September of 2013 and, three years later, Daughter has finally graced us with a sequel. Released on January 15th of this year, Not To Disappear is an album that provides extensive insight into the band’s growth, both musical and emotional. BeatRoute spoke briefly with Remi Aguillela, Daughter’s drummer, about the new album and about the changes the band has undergone since their first LP.
Like many debut albums, the writing and recording of If You Leave was often impeded by a lack of time and money “Because of our schedule when we did [If You Leave]…we never got consistent studio time,” Aguilella recounts, “When we finished touring for [the album], we decided to rent a little studio in London. We [then] had the ability to go whenever we wanted and play together.”
Daugther not only had a stable musical homebase from which to tackle their new album, they also had the unconditional support of their label, and no due date. “It’s crazy to say that in 2016…the fact that we didn’t have any pressure from our record label [is] amazing,” Aguilella shares, “We had the ability to say ‘Well, I don’t think it’s ready yet therefore I’m not going to put it out.’” This change of circumstances allowed to band to make an album much more true to their intended sound.
Not To Disappear picks up right where If You Leave left us: drowning in a sea of haunting delay and bittersweet vocals. However, there is an unmistakable energy that propels this album from the very first track, all but eradicating If You Leave‘s tone of defeat. Not To Disappear is the breath after surfacing in arctic waters. No longer submerged and sinking, Daughter now traverse a sea of newly liberated emotions: anger, fear, gratitude, and hope.
Despite their initial fears, reception has been warmer than ever. Daughter’s penchant for true and tragic songwriting has earned them the dedicated support of their fans. Although unfailingly sad, Not To Disappear is a testament to our ability to heal in the wake of great loss. It reminds us that recovery is an arduous and often ugly process, but ultimately necessary in rediscovering our own sense of self.
“They let us do our thing… and that’s what we did.”
Daughter performs at the Vogue Theatre on March 18.BC, British Columbia, Daughter, Vogue Theatre