Alt-Folkies Daughter Colors Bright Sounds With Shades of Gray on ‘Not to Disappear’: Album Review

Album Review
Courtesy of Glassnote

On If You Leave, the gorgeously gloomy 2013 debut from U.K. indie-folk trio Daughter, frontwoman Elena Tonra sings, "I've been ­thinking I should see someone/Just to find out if I'm alright." Two years on, it seems the only ­professional help Daughter sought was in the form of new producer Nicolas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Speedy Ortiz), who colors this terrific sophomore set with fresh shades of gray. On opener "New Ways," guitarist/co-producer Igor Haefeli moves from his usual maudlin ­chiming to grinding ­shoegazer noise. The group unexpectedly goes U2 on "How," gets briefly punky on "Fossa" and fits a frazzled dance beat to "No Care." Alas, Tonra is too fixated on death, sex and dementia to let the bigger, more upbeat sounds brighten her mood. "I hate walking alone," she sings, delicately as ever, on "Alone/With You," a lurching ghost of a reggae tune. "I should get a dog or ­something." If pet therapy fails, there's always songwriting.

This story originally appeared in the Jan. 23 issue of Billboard.