Daughter - Not To Disappear - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Daughter - Not To Disappear

by James Weiskittel Rating:9 Release Date:2016-01-15

Perhaps what resonated most with audiences when the London-based trio Daughter first released their debut album, If You Leave, some three years ago (has it been that long?), was how beautifully monochromatic (focused) the album actually was. Elena Tonra’s voice was, at times, almost painfully effective at evoking the somber tone of her lyrics. The group’s debut, while certainly not flawless, managed to raise more than a few eyebrows with its confidently cohesive directness.

Not to Disappear, Daughter’s follow-up release, finds the band somewhat expanding upon If You Leave’s sonic palette. Tonra’s voice is still as affecting as ever, but as one would expect, there is now an added depth that only experience can provide.

Not to Disappear seams to pick up right where the band last left off on the opener “New Ways”, with its sparse, slap-echoed snare providing the foundation for guitarist Igor Haefeli’s wispy arpeggios and Tonra’s almost hushed voice. The song quickly builds, however, into an almost post-rock crescendo, vamping on a wall of fuzz (that would make any My Bloody Valentine fan take notice) for the song’s final verse.  Opening with a song so epic in scope is bold enough to say the least, but that is really just the tip of the proverbial iceberg for Not to Disappear.

The band continues to refine upon familiar territory, adding new-found touches (like the almost tribal drum feel of “Numbers” and the bled out ‘wall of cymbal crashes’ on the downright tuneful “How”) through-out the album’s ten tracks.  The album continues to ride this wave until finally careening into a wonderfully epic one-two punch with the stutter-step rave-up of “Fossa” giving way to the pensive closer “Made of Stone”.  The record sounds like any sophomore album should; slightly more polished while in no way abandoning the aesthetic laid out by the band on their debut.

So let it be proclaimed: the dreaded ‘sophomore slump’ has definitely been averted here.  If you were a fan of Daughter’s debut, then you will be especially satisfied here, as the band has carved out a newly added depth to a sound that they already confidently wielded.  And if you are new to the fold, then Not To Disappear represents the perfect place to jump on board.

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