Review: Daughter – If You Leave

Haunting, melancholy folk and bruised hearts make for a moody debut album courtesy of London three-piece Daughter, fronted by Elena Tonra.

If You Leave plays as an album should, ten sparse but crafted tracks intertwine and engross, and should be listened to as such.

‘Youth’ is a track familiar to the ear, first released on an EP two years ago, it seamlessly finds a home on this full length. ‘Winter’ is the perfect opener, a departure from the usually quiet and gentle arrangements we might expect from Daughter, building up to some jolting percussion based choruses.

There are layers and depth to this darkness. Tonra’s mesmerising vocal whispers, then soars. If You Leave marks a continued trend in the musical life of Daughter. Each EP has seen increased attention to detail, if not even more so on their first complete album.

The album does become slightly predictable and sags a little in the middle with overwrought misery. If you can get past that and remember the atmospheric guitars, emotive lyrics and that painstakingly elegant vocal, you should be captivated once more.

Her misery sounds better than our misery. Flawed and fragmented, Elena Tonra drags us through every emotion and back again. There is honesty and beauty about this record, despite the high octane melodrama. ‘Shallows’ is a hypnotic closing track which makes you want to press play all over again. And you will.

Rating: 4/5

Claire Healy

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