Daughter
If You Leave


3.5
great

Review

by Matt Wolfe EMERITUS
March 18th, 2013 | 55 replies | 11,525 views


Release Date: 03/18/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Quite beautiful, when it retains its composure.

Call me heartless, but I’m fed up of the break-up album. In my opinion, if you’re going to spend forty minutes grieving to your audience over the death of your weekly couples trip to Blockbuster, you should damn well go all out to try and elicit any kind of expression in them besides ‘there, there’ and an awkward pat on the back. Obsession is fascinating, infatuation is boring. I want to hear about how you threw a brick through your ex’s window, with a note wrapped around it spelling out ‘I fucking love you, you disgusting, beautiful shit’ in cut-out magazine letters. I don’t want to hear you whine about how you wish you were dead. Either pull your socks up, or lodge them in his exhaust pipe. Don’t let me put my arm around you; bite it off.

Unfortunately, indie trio Daughter’s debut LP spends a little too long in the infatuation camp, sobbing into the pillow to the best friend down the phone. And when I say a little, I mean a little. For the most part of If You Leave, the band succeed at shirking the batshit obsession route whilst still managing to sound interesting, sincere, and rather moving. They do this by capitalizing on their sombre sound, one that is centred on singer Elena Tonra’s voice. It’s not a spectacular voice; it’s not destined to turn heads or bring almost-tears to the corners of van drivers’ eyes, but it’s tender, earnest, composed, English. The music which surrounds her is sweet, sparse and dark - reverb heavy twinkly guitar twangs, throaty ambience, clacking of sticks and rims, a late-arriving deep and enveloping bass - it’s a perfectly weighted and really quite beautiful accompaniment to the themes of lost love present on the album.

Until the themes lose their composure. All of this worked on their two previous EPs, which were four tracks a piece. But when you hit ten tracks, you stop describing the album with adjectives like ‘poignant’, ‘bruised’, ‘damaged’ and ‘haunting’ and replace them with ‘tiresome’, ‘exasperating’, ‘self-defeating’ and ‘again?’. It gets carried away with its own misery. That’s why it’s hard to pick an album highlight or dud; the homogeneity of the sorrow causes the tracks to muddy into one another. Even the sprightly and refreshingly uplifting acoustic melody on ‘Human’ draws groans when it accompanies lyrics like these: “I tried to escape but keep sinking”… “I think I’m dying here”. It’s the same story on ‘Youth’, the single you’ll have heard from last year’s Tour de France ITV advert. It’s got the pretty melody, the stirring bass drum, the shimmering guitars, the cute structure, but then, too, lyrics that shuffle into self-pitying, almost conspiratorial territory: “Setting fire to our insides for fun / Collecting names of the lovers that went wrong.”

I want to like this album more than I do because it’s lovely, it’s captivating, it’s enchanting, it’s really rather heartbreaking. And I do like it, I like it quite a lot, and you should definitely check it out. But, like the initially supportive best friend whose advice down the phone seems to continually fall on deaf ears and would quite like now to get back to watching the footy, I’m stuck with little on my tongue besides ‘really…’ and little on my mind besides ‘oh, suck it up man’. Call me heartless, but…



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user ratings (117)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Hopelust
March 18th 2013



943 Comments


The first paragraph of this review is genius.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



2714 Comments


Got half a review in the oven for this atm, and gotta say I agree with your points. Gonna blame the new, more cynical production mostly. Still a good album: just hard to write about positively. IT COULD HAVE BEEN SO FUCKING GOOD!

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



2714 Comments


also, isn't it 3 previous EPs? Or do we not count the demo (which had Tomorrow and In The Shallows on, as well as Run - all destroyed retroactively).

Kris.
March 18th 2013



12150 Comments


OH SHIT NEW DAUGHTERS ALBUM WUUUT






oh



=(

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2013



10258 Comments


matt goddamn wolfe

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

SeaAnemone
March 18th 2013



19721 Comments


I haven't decided whether to pick this up yet - not sure if I like Daughters all that much - but I really like this review, nice job.

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
March 18th 2013



862 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

present.

SOS, honestly, i haven't heard the demos, only the two eps. i think medicine is my favourite track of the lot though.

Sanders
March 18th 2013



2341 Comments


Been waiting for this since the Wild Youth EP, absolutely loved that

I have a horrible feeling I may be disappointed...

Kris.
March 18th 2013



12150 Comments


yo sea this isn't daughters

it's daughter

AdolfChrist
March 18th 2013



1716 Comments


"I want to hear about how you threw a brick through your ex’s window, with a note wrapped around it spelling out ‘I fucking love you, you disgusting, beautiful shit’ in cut-out magazine letters."

lol'd. good review.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



2714 Comments


Listen to it if you get the time, it's great.

henryChinaski
March 18th 2013



2683 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is great.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2013



7310 Comments


It's an amazing review. Have a mind-pos.

Digging: Dog Fashion Disco - Sweet Nothings

toxin.
March 18th 2013



12019 Comments


"Call me heartless, but I’m fed up of the break-up album"
Call me crazy, but shouldn't it "fed up with" ?

slipnslide
March 18th 2013



2640 Comments


youth is a great song

SupercolliderMusic
March 19th 2013



1456 Comments


I'll give this a solid 4. good listen.

LowRidinCow
March 19th 2013



36 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I liked the EP version of Youth way better, but the rest of the album is pretty great.

intotheshit
March 19th 2013



3639 Comments


Don't call me daughter.

robin
Emeritus
March 19th 2013



4241 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i probably like this album as much as you do, maybe a little more, but i think it has an excellent composure. in fact that's one of the things i notice about it most - she's so good at holding things together i mean i barely notice tracks changing at all.

album kicks it, really didn't expect to like it as much as i do. ily matt wolfe

also who's in the last paragraph that should be whose. x

Hopelust
March 19th 2013



943 Comments


Is there a stream of this somewhere?




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